Commissioning of Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV)
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).
This 98 metre OPV has been designed and built indigenously by M/s Larsen & Toubro Ltd and is fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machineries. It features a 30mm gun and 12.7mm gun with FCS for the fighting efficiency of the ship. It also features Integrated Bridge System(IBS), Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS), Automated Power Management System (APMS) and High Power external firefighting system. The ship is designed to carry one twin engine helicopter and four high speed boats including two rigid hull inflatable boats for swift boarding operation, search and rescue, law Enforcement and Maritime Patrol. The ship is also capable of carrying pollution response equipment to contain oil spill at sea.
The ship draws approx. 2100 tons (GRT) propelled by two 9100 kw diesel engine to attain a maximum speed of 26 knots and has an endurance of 5000 nm at economical speed. The sustenance and reach, coupled with the latest and modern equipment and system, provides her the capability to perform the role of a Command platform to accomplish all Coast Guard charter of duties.
The ship on joining Coast Guard fleet at New Mangalore, will be deployed extensively for EEZ surveillance and other duties as enshrined in the Coast Guard charter to safeguard the maritime interest of India. Presently, Indian Coast Guard has a fleet of 134 ships and boats and 62 aircrafts. 63 ships are at various stages of construction at different shipyards in India.
ICGS Vikram is commanded by Comdt Kamal Sinha and manned by 14 Officers and 88 men.
The commissioning of ICGS Vikram will enhance the Indian Coast Guard's operational capability to discharge the multifarious maritime tasks. The induction of a sophisticated and state-of-the-art Offshore Patrol Vessel will give a fillip to the maritime protection of our vast coastline of Western Seaboard in general and the maritime state of Karnataka and Maharashtra in particular.
- T Shanmugam