(Eds: adding more details) Chennai, Oct 6 (PTI) The seventh offshore patrol vessel of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), 'Vigraha' was formally unveiled at the Kattupalli port near here on Tuesday.
The vessel, built by Larsen and Toubro, is the last in the series of seven 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 a range of 5,000 nautical miles.
It can attain a sustained speed of upto 26 knots and would be fitted with 30mm 2A42 gun and two 12.7 mm guns and equipped with twin engine helicopters enhancing its operational, surveillance, search and rescue capability,an official release said.
The vessel is expected to be inducted into the Coast Guard after completion of extensive trials and testing for the equipment and machinery by March 2021.
Finance Ministry Secretary (expenditure) TV Somanathan, Coast Guard Director General K Natarajan and senior company officials took part in the launch.
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.
Somanathan said the Coast Guard is on the path of rapid expansion which requires a large number of state-of- the-art ships and aircraft to strengthen the maritime security mechanism in the emerging security scenario.
Asset requirements are being met by adding new ships and replenishment of aging existing OPVs in phased manner, he said.
Larsen and Toubro CEO S N Subrahmanyan said '....scheduled launch of ICGS Vigraha in these challenging times will pave the way for her early deployment by the Coast Guard, which has assumed greater significance in current geopolitical situation'.
Larsen and Toubro has already designed and built ICGS 'Vikram', ICGS 'Vijaya', ICGS 'Veera', ICGS 'Varaha', ICGS 'Varad', ICGS 'Vajra'.
Larsen and Toubro, senior executive vice president (defence and smart technologies) Jayant Patil said, 'L&T has accomplished this launch through innovative ways to overcome unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19 over the last six months.' Larsen and Toubro is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in augmentation and modernisation of Indian Navy and Coast Guard fleets and consistently deliver 'Make in India' in defence, he said.
The vessel would be manned by 102 crew including 14 officers and 88 subordinate officers. Its life span is expected to be more than 25 years.
According to officials, despite the restrictions and constraints faced due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the 'coordinated efforts' of ICG overseeing team with Larsen and Toubro Shipbuilding have resulted in timely launching of the vessel.PTI VIJ ROH BN WELCOME WELCOME