Indian Coast Guard to receive first OPV from private sector firm L&T

The Indian Coast Guard is set to receive a new long-range offshore patrol vessel (OPV), named Vikram, from a private sector firm Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Shipping.

The OPV is the first of a series of seven vessels that are being built by L&T at Kattupalli shipyard under a Rs14.32bn ($221.4m) contract awarded by the Indian Ministry of Defence in March 2015.

As per the terms of the deal, the first OPV is to be delivered within three years from the signing of the contract followed by subsequent vessels at intervals of six months.

The company is planning to deliver the first vessel in March 2018 and the remaining OPVs ahead of the contracted delivery dates.

L&T Defence Business senior executive vice-president JD Patil said: “The launch of the lead OPV designed and built in-house is a big leap towards the country’s self-reliance in defence.”

Larsen &Toubro CEO & managing director SN Subrahmanyan added: “With a favourable policy environment and government’s thrust on ‘Make in India’, we expect our contribution in indigenous defence manufacturing to grow manifold in the coming years.”

Following the launch of the OPV, the ship will now undergo a series of Harbour and Sea Acceptance Trials before delivery to the Indian Coast Guard.

The 97m-long and 15m-wide OPV has a 2,140t displacement capacity, a range of 5,000nm and can cruise at speeds of up to 26k.

Designed to enhance the coastal patrolling capabilities of the Indian Coast Guard, the OPVs will be deployed to conduct coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones of India, control and surveillance, anti-smuggling and anti-piracy with limited wartime roles.

Image: The Indian Coast Guard’s new OPV. Photo: courtesy of Larsen & Toubro Limited.