Offshore Patrol Vessels Current Affairs
Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has commissioned indigenously built patrol vessel ICGS Vijaya in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It is second in the series of 98 m offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) commissioned by ICG.
It has been designed and built indigenously by Larsen & Toubro (L&T). It is 98-metre long ship. It can carry one twin engine helicopter and four high speed boats, including two inflatable boats for boarding. It is fitted with advanced technology navigation and communication equipment and sensors. It is fitted with 30 mm gun and will be fitted with 12.7 mm gun with fire control system. On joining ICG fleet, ICGS Vijaya will be based at Paradip, Odisha. It will be manned by 12 officers and 91 men.
It will be deployed extensively for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance and other duties as enshrined in Coast Guard charter. It will also undertake search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol operations. It will help to enhance ICG’s operational capability to discharge its multifarious maritime tasks. It will also give fillip to maritime protection of Eastern seaboard in general and the maritime states of Odisha and West Bengal in particular. It is also capable of carrying limited pollution response equipment to contain oil spill in sea.
Larsen and Toubro (L&T) handed over offshore patrol vessel (OPV) named “Vikram” to the Indian Coast Guard. It is country’s first-ever such defence vessel to be built in a private shipyard
The vessel was indigenously developed in-house at L&T’s Kattupalli shipyard. Its entire design and construction processes have undergone dual certification from American Bureau of Shipping and Indian Registrar of Shipping.
OPV Vikram is first of seven vessels for which by Ministry of Defence had awarded Rs. 1,432-crore contract to L&T in March 2015. It will be inducted into service by April 2018 after completion of extensive trials of equipment and machineries.
The OPV Vikram is 97 metres long, 15 metre wide and has 2,140 tonne displacement capacity with range of 5,000 nautical miles and can reach speed of up to 26 knots (One knot is 1.852 km/hr). It is equipped with state-of-the-art radars, navigation and communication systems capable of operating in tropical conditions. About 60% components of the ship were sourced from domestic suppliers.
The ship is fitted with one 30 mm automatic gun with Fire Control System (FCS) and two 12.7 mm gun with FCS. It has integral twin-engine helicopter and backend helipad, which enhances its operational, surveillance, search and rescue capabilities. It will be deployed for day and night surveillance patrol, search and rescue and in pollution response operations in exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of the country.