The seventh offshore patrol vessel of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), ”Vigraha”, will be commissioned by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Chennai on 28 August 2021.
The ship will be based in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh and operate on the eastern seaboard under the Operational and Administrative Control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (East).
Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Shri M K Stalin, Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane, Director General Indian Coast Guard Shri K Natarajan and other senior dignitaries of the central & state governments will also be present at the occasion.
The vessel, built by Larsen and Toubro, is the last in the series of seven offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) contracted to the company by the Ministry of Defence in 2015. It was the first time a private sector shipyard has undertaken the design and construction of offshore patrol vessel class of ships.
The OPV is 98 metres long, 15 metres wide, has 3.6 m draught, 2140T displacement and comes with a complement of 11 officers and 110 sailors. It has a range of 5,000 nautical miles and is fitted with advanced technology radars, navigation & communication equipment, sensors and machinery capable of operating in tropical sea conditions.
"The vessel is armed with a 40/60 Bofors gun and fitted with two 12.7 mm Stabilised Remote Control Gun with fire control system. The ship is also equipped with integrated bridge system, integrated platform management system, automated power management system and high-power external fire-fighting system," says the official statement from the ministry of defence.
"The ship is also designed to carry one twin-engine Helicopter and four high speed boats for boarding operation, search & rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol. The ship is also capable of carrying pollution response equipment to contain oil spill at sea. The ship displaces approximately 2,200 tons and is propelled by two 9100 KW diesel engines to attain a maximum speed of 26 nautical miles per hour with endurance of 5000 nm at economical speed," the statement adds.
It should be noted that offshore Patrol Vessels are long-range surface ships, capable of operation in maritime zones of the country including island territories with helicopter operation capabilities. Some of the roles undertaken by the OPVs include coastal and offshore patrol, policing maritime zones of the country, surveillance, anti-smuggling and anti-piracy operations.
After commissioning, ICG Vigraha will be deployed extensively for EEZ surveillance and other duties as enshrined in the Coast Guard Charter to safeguard the country’s maritime interests.