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Defence News 11/04/2018
India commissions first new Vikram-class OPV

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has commissioned its first new Vikram-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV).

The platform, which has been named ICGS Vikram with pennant number 33, was officially inducted on 11 April in a ceremony officiated by Indian Minister of State for Defence, Subhash Bhamre. Vikram is part of an INR14320 million (USD220 million) contract awarded to Larsen & Toubro in March 2015 for seven vessels.

The OPV was launched in October 2017 at Larsen & Toubro’s Kattupali shipyard, while a second ship in the programme was lowered into the water in January 2018. Vikram inherits the name and hull number of the first ship in a class of nine that was in service with the ICG since 1983 and began retiring in 2012. The service currently operates a single ship, ICGS Vigraha (39), in this older class of vessels.

The new Vikram class has an overall length of 97 m, an overall beam of 15 m, and a hull draught of 3.6 m. The platform has a top speed of 26 kt, and a standard range of 5000 n miles at 12 kt. The ship’s construction design and construction processes have undergone dual certifications from the American Bureau of Shipping and Indian Registrar of Shipping.

The vessel can accommodate a helicopter, such as the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Dhruv, on its flight deck to augment its search-and-rescue (SAR), and maritime patrol capabilities. The ship can also carry two rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs), on davits that are located on the port and starboard, for maritime interdiction operations.

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