New home-made OPV Vishwast launched

Press Release from the Coast Guard: 04thJuly 2008 witnessed the achievement of yet another milestone by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL). GSL Yard 1203, Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), being built as per specific requirements of the Indian Coast Guard was launched into the sea today at about 1245 hours. As per the traditions of the service that require a lady to launch the ship, the simple and austere ceremony was performed by Smt Bharti Kumar wife of Shri Pradeep Kumar, Secretary(Defence Production) in the Ministry of Defence who was also the Chief Guest for the occasion. Vice Admiral RF Contractor AVSM,NM, the Director General Indian Coast Guard graced the occasion and addressed the gathering along with the Chief Guest.

The first of the three Offshore Patrol Vessels (New Series) being built at M/s Goa Shipyard Limited to replace the old Offshore Patrol Vessels inducted in 1980's would actually be the tenth one to join the Coast Guard inventory on getting commissioned. The new OPV would be 93.6 meters in length and would be capable of operating multi-engine helicopters. It is designed to be propelled by two MTU engines delivering 18000 KW of power making the vessel traverse extended ranges of 4500 NM at a cruising speed of 12-14 knots. Besides being capable of providing pollution response and external fire fighting the ship would be equipped with the state of the art Integrated Platform Management System for Machinery and Bridge Control. Bow thrusters, for precision manoeuvring, would be an added feature to enable the ship pilot through restricted waters. It is envisaged that the ship would get commissioned by Apr 2009 and would be christened Vishwast.

The Secretary (Defence Production) appreciated the yard for its performance and congratulated the yard for receiving the Best Performing Yard award by the Raksha Mantri. He remarked that the modernization plans being undertaken by the yard would help the yard in overcoming the shortcomings in infrastructure and help increase ship production.

The DGICG in his address emphasized the role of private enterprises and shipyards in the shipbuilding projects. The DGICG brought out that in the global defence industry arena the most favourable measures adopted by various industries is increase in public–private participation, which ultimately leads to greater indigenisation and by extension "Self Reliance". Lauding the initiative of the GSL in this regard he remarked that this was the step in the right direction.

The launching of this vessel is in keeping with the fifteen years perspective plan of the Indian Coast Guard. It is envisaged that by the end of the XIth plan the Indian Coast Guard would have added further to its inventory 2 AOPVs, 3 OPVs, 3 PCVs, 11 IBs, 21 IPVs, 4 FPVs, 19 Helicopters and 10 fixed wing aircraft.

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