Chennai: Indian CoastGuard Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Vigraha was launched at KattupalliChennai on Tuesday.
Indian CoastGuard on Tuesday said in a tweet, “OPVVigraha launched by Mrs Hema Somanathan, wife of DR TV Somanathan, IAS, Secy(Exp), MoF in presence of Director General K Natarajan & other dignitaries of Central & State Govt today at L&T”
OPVVigraha, the last of the seven series OPV, was built by L&T Shipbuilding under the contract signed between the Ministry of Defence and L&T Ltd on 30 Mar 2015. This was the first time that the contract for building an OPV class of vessel had been given to a private shipyard, in this case, Larsen and Toubro Ltd in line with the Government’s policy of “Make in India”.
The vessel was launched by Hema Somanathan, wife of IAS Secretary (Expenditure), Ministry of Finance DR TV Somanathan, who was present as the chief guest at the launching ceremony held in Chennai. The ceremony was observed by Director General K Natarajan, PTM, TM, Director General Indian Coast Guard, and Inspector General S Paramesh, PTM, TM, Commander Coast Guard Region (East).
The length of the OPV is 98 metres and breadth is 14.8 metres with a gross tonnage of 2,100 tons. The lasting power of the vessel is 5,000 nautical miles at cruising speed. The cruising speed of the ship is 12-14 knots with a maximum speed of 26 knots. The ship is fitted with two diesel driven engines of 9,000 kW each with low-level consumption, high TBO, and complying to IMO tier-II norms. The ship will be fitted with a 30mm 2A42 gun and two 12.7 mm gun and equipped with an integral twin-engine helicopter which will enhance its operational, surveillance, search and rescue potentiality.
The 7th OPV is likely to be introduced into the Indian Coast Guard in March 2021 after the completion of extensive trials and testing for the equipment and pieces of machinery fitted onboard.
The ship would be manned by 102 crew, including 14 officers and 88 subordinate officers and enrolled personnel. It would be utilised for day and night patrol along with anti-terrorism and anti-smuggling operations in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and coastal security. The vessels will have two navigation radars and ultra-modern technology including sophisticated navigational and latest communication system which are capable of operating in tropical conditions. The expected life span of the ship is more than 25 years.
Despite the restriction faced by industries across the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, the synchronised efforts of the ICG Overseeing Team with L&T Shipbuilding have resulted in the timely launching of the vessel. This milestone will ensure timely delivery of the vessel to ICG which is the need of the hour in today’s existing security scenario.