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Offshore Patrol Vessel - VIKRAM Class

Great care is required with this class of ships, the first of which was placed in commission in 2017. They replaced an earlier class of Offshore Patrol Vessels, also the Vikram class, most units of which were decommissioned in the 2012-2019 timeframe. The new class apparently replicates both the names and hull numbers of the earlier class. Possibly reflecting the strength of Hindu belief in reincarnation, this can only cause mischief in discussion of maritime affairs. The whole point of names and numbers is to clearly indicate the vessel in question, and only an intimate knowledge of ship chronologies, or a close attention to identification features [the older vessels had more prominent funnels] can prevent hopeless confusion.

ICGS Vikram class OPVs are long-range surface ships, equipped to handle helicopter operations and capable of operating in Indian maritime zones including island territories. The role of the OPV is to conduct coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones, control & surveillance, anti-smuggling & anti-piracy operations with limited wartime roles.

The 98-metre offshore patrol vessel has been designed and constructed indigenously. It is equipped with 30- milimetre gun and has an integrated bridge system, platform management systems, automated power management system and high power external fire fighting system. It is capable of carrying a twin-engine helicopter and four high speed boats for swift boarding, search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrolling operations. It also carries pollution response equipment for handling incidents like oil spill at sea. It is propelled by two 9100-kilowatt diesel engines. It can attain a maximum speed of 26 knots and has endurance of 5000 nautical miles. The Indian Coast Guard has said in a statement that it will be deployed for the surveillance of India's Exclusive Economic Zone and to safeguard the maritime interests of the country.

The vessel, which is approximately 97m long, 15m wide, has 3.6m draught, 2,140 T displacement. The OPVs are built with Integrated Platform Management System to enable special control capabilities generally integrated in larger warships like Frigates and Destroyers. The vessels are fitted with front propulsion pods for providing an ability of high manoeuvrability. The entire design and construction process has been certified by American Bureau of Shipping as well as Indian Registrar of Shipping and overseen by the Indian Coast Guard’s resident team at Kattupalli. The ship has been designed and built indigenously by Larsen and Toubro and is fitted with state of the art communication technology and navigation, sensor and machinery. The vessel is equipped with a 30-mm gun and a 12.7mm gun for enhancing the fighting efficiency of the vessel. Some of its special features include Integrated Bridge System, Automated power management system, high power external firefighting system, indigenously built Integrated platform management system and Help Traversing System.

The ship also carries four high-speed boats, including two rigid hull inflated boats for boarding operation, search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol. Besides, the ship has capabilities of carrying limited Pollution Response equipment to contain oil spills at sea. It displaces 2,100 tonnes and propelled by two engines and is capable of achieving maximum speed of 26 knots and endurance of 5000 nautical miles. It will also be capable of carrying a twin-engine helicopter for Search and Rescue and Maritime Patrol. It also carries pollution response equipment to contain the oil spill at sea.

After its keel was laid in March 2016, ICGS Vikram was commissioned in a record period of 25 months, including build time, harbor trials and sea trials. The first vessel of the series ICGS Vikram was handed over as a curtain raiser for DEFEXPO-2018. Indian Coast Guard Ship Vikram, the first in the series of seven 98m Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) was commissioned at Chennai by Dr Subhash Bhamre Raksha Rajya Mantri on April 11, 2018 in the presence of Director General Rajendra Singh and senior dignitaries of the central and state government. Vikram stands for Valour, a projection of the Indian Coast Guard’s will and commitment to Serve and Protect the maritime interests of the nation. The ship is based at New Mangalore, Karnataka under the operational and administrative control of the Commander Coast Guard Region (west).

L&T exemplified its commitment to the Indian defence forces with ahead of schedule delivery of the Offshore Patrol Vessel ICGS Vijaya (OPV-2) to the Indian Coast Guard 30 August 2018. The delivery of ICGS Vijaya came close on the heels of the launch of OPV-3 on August 28 at the L&T Kattupalli shipyard. The work is simultaneously in progress on the OPVs 4, 5 & 6, that were at different stages of completion.

The Indian Coast Guard launched the new offshore patrol vessel ICGS Varaha from a corporate shipyard near Chennai 03 November 2018. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh commissioned the Indian Coast Guard Ship ICGS Varaha at a special function held at Chennai Port 25 September 2019. The ship is the fourth in the series of seven offshore patrol vessels of the Coast Guard. It will be based at New Mangalore in Karnataka under the Western Command.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh formally commissioned the Coast Guard offshore patrol vessel ‘Varaha’ at the Chennai Port Trust. “It is indeed reassuring to witness the growing strength of the Indian Coast Guard, the ‘Sentinals of our seas’ and capabilities of Larsen and Toubro Shipbuilding Ltd, one of the strong supporting pillars for production and maintenance of surface assets of our maritime forces,” he said. He noted that the multitude of challenges of drug trafficking, oil spill incidents and the growing threat of maritime terrorism calls for cooperation on regional arrangements with various maritime nations and Indian Coast Guard over the years has built bonds of diplomacy.

Raksha Mantri described ICGS ’Varaha’ as a fine example of collaboration with industry and ‘Make in India’ where Larsen & Toubro (L&T) shipbuilding has played a very important role in production and maintenance of our sea-based assets. Shri Rajnath Singh said, “the name ‘Varaha’ is taken from Puranas, who was the third incarnation of Lord Vishnu which took the form of Boar to protect mother earth by carrying her out of the sea on his tusks. It reminds us of the principle of sacrifice and rescue in the duty of saving mother earth”. Raksha Mantri also stressed on the need to ensure availability of world class assets, both commercial vessels & warships, in adequate numbers to achieve maritime supremacy. He said, there is no other way of providing the needed numbers than having a strong and vibrant shipbuilding industry.

“Great fleets cannot be just bought, they have to be built”, said Raksha Mantri. Appreciating the important role played by private players in the indigenisation of shipbuilding technology, Shri Rajnath Singh urged them to develop naval equipment of stringent standards. Raksha Mantri said, the Government has taken a conscious decision to encourage other shipyards, including private yards, to enter the specialised field of warship-construction. He termed the response as encouraging.

Ship List
# Name Builder Laid
Launch Comm Decomm Notes
33 VIKRAM L&T Shipbuilding Mar
27 Oct
11 Apr
34 VIJAYA L&T Shipbuilding
20 Jan
14 Sep
35 VEERA L&T Shipbuilding
28 Aug
15 Apr
41 VARAHA L&T Shipbuilding
02 Nov
25 Sep
40 L&T Shipbuilding 03 Jul
31 Aug
# L&T Shipbuilding 03 Jul

2019 : building
# L&T Shipbuilding

2019 : under contract
Total no. in service 03
Make Indian built
Displacement (in tonnes) Light ,
Deep 2,140
Dimensions (LOAxBxD) 98.2 x 14.7 x 3.2 m
Length 97 m (318 ft 3 in)
Beam 15 m (49 ft 3 in)
Draft 3.6 m (11 ft 10 in)
Flight Deck Integral Helo
Main Machinery 2 Diesels, 9100 KW each (SEMT PIELSTICK16PA6V280)
Speed (knots) 26
Range (n miles) 5000 at 12-14 Kn
Complement (crew) 102  (including 14officers)

Offshore Patrol Vessel - VIKRAM Class Offshore Patrol Vessel - VIKRAM Class Offshore Patrol Vessel - VIKRAM Class Offshore Patrol Vessel - VIKRAM Class Offshore Patrol Vessel - VIKRAM Class Offshore Patrol Vessel - VIKRAM Class Offshore Patrol Vessel - VIKRAM Class Offshore Patrol Vessel - VIKRAM Class

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Page last modified: 13-01-2020 18:53:03 ZULU