The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) commissioned its fifth 51 m Rani Abbakka-class inshore patrol vessel (IPV) in Visakhapatnam on 18 June.
ICGS Rani Rashmoni completes an order for five IPVs built under a contract awarded to Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) in March 2006. The build of the fifth vessel was subcontracted to Visakhapatnam-based Nest Builders and Engineers, a company involved in several ongoing projects at HSL.
The construction of the patrol vessels to a Thornycroft Australia design at HSL has been plagued by delays arising from build issues. HSL was originally contracted to deliver all five IPVs between March 2008 and March 2009. However, a number of technical problems including weight control issues and a loss of top speed from the contractual 34 kt to 31.5 kt that required remediation have resulted in a slippage of more than nine years.
Lead ship Rani Abbakka , which was considerably overweight and could only reach 31.5 kt, was launched in May 2009 and eventually commissioned into service in January 2012, with the next three hulls commissioning in May 2013, July 2015, and October 2016.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of Rani Rashmoni , ICG second in command Additional Director General VSR Murthy said HSL had done “a remarkable job” in overall weight reduction and achieving the contractual speed of 34 kt.
HSL was awarded a follow-on contract for eight similar IPVs in March 2011, but this has since been cancelled, with the ICG issuing a new request for information (RFI) for eight fast patrol vessels in October 2017.
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