- Keels for the Indian Coast Guard’s fifth and sixth new Vikram-class vessels have been laid down
- Programme is running ahead of schedule, and service is on track to operate the entire class by 2021
Indian shipbuilding and engineering company, Larsen & Toubro, has laid down keels for the Indian Coast Guard’s fifth and sixth Vikram-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs).
The vessels were laid down at the company’s shipyard in Kattupalli on 3 July. The two OPVs are part of an INR14.32 billion (USD210 million) contract awarded to Larsen & Toubro in March 2015 for seven vessels.
The programme's first-of-class, ICGS Vikram , was delivered in April 2018 and commissioned by the Indian Coast Guard in the same month. The second OPV, which will be known in service as ICGS Vijaya , was launched in January 2018, and is currently being readied for sea trials, said Larsen & Toubro.
The third and fourth vessels are currently undergoing systems integration, and are scheduled to be launched in the later part of 2018.
The Vikram class has an overall length of 97 m, an overall beam of 15 m, and a hull draught of 3.6 m. It can attain a top speed of 26 kt, and a standard range of 5000 n miles at 12 kt. The class’ build processes has undergone dual certifications from the American Bureau of Shipping and Indian Registrar of Shipping.
The OPV can accommodate one aircraft, such as the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Dhruv helicopter, to bolster its maritime patrol and search-and-rescue (SAR), and capabilities. The ship can also embark two rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) for maritime interdiction operations. These can be launched and recovered via davits located on the port and starboard sides.
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