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Updated December 20th, 2023 at 22:52 IST

India fortifies maritime defence with Rs1614.89 crore deal for 6 Next-Gen Offshore Patrol Vessels

India reinforces coastal defense, signing a Rs1614.89 Crore deal for six Next-Gen Offshore Patrol Vessels.

Yuvraj Tyagi
INS Sumedha
India reinforces coastal defense, signing a Rs1614.89 Crore deal for six Next-Gen Offshore Patrol Vessels. | Image:PIB
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In a significant move towards bolstering maritime security, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract with Mazagon Dockyard Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL), Mumbai, on December 20, 2023, for the procurement of six Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (NGOPVs) for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). Valued at Rs1614.89 Crore, the contract falls under the Buy (Indian-IDDM) category, reinforcing the commitment to 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' and enhancing indigenous shipbuilding capabilities. 

Out of the six NGOPVs, four will replace aging Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), while the remaining two will augment the ICG fleet. This acquisition aligns with the government's increased focus on maritime security, aiming to provide the ICG with modern and high-tech ships. The 115m OPVs will serve crucial roles in surveillance, law enforcement, search and rescue, maritime pollution response, and humanitarian assistance. 

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State-of-the-Art features and capabilities 

MDL will indigenously design, develop, and manufacture these multi-role vessels, incorporating advanced features such as Multipurpose Drones, AI capabilities, and Wirelessly Controlled Remote Water Rescue Craft Lifebuoys. These enhancements will provide the ICG with greater flexibility and operational advantages, addressing contemporary multidimensional challenges.

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Credit- Indian Navy

The NGOPVs are scheduled to be delivered in 66 months, contributing to the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' initiative by boosting indigenous shipbuilding capabilities. The project is expected to stimulate maritime economic activities, foster the growth of ancillary industries, particularly in the MSME sector, and generate employment opportunities. This aligns with the government's vision of self-reliance and economic development. 

Next-Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels for Indian Navy  

Additionally, the NGOPV project is part of a series of eleven offshore patrol vessels planned for the Indian Navy. The vessels, designed by Goa Shipyard (GSL) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), aim to maintain the Navy's combat capability and fulfill operational requirements. These include roles such as anti-piracy, counter-infiltration, anti-poaching, anti-trafficking, non-combatant evacuation operations, search and rescue (SAR), and protection of offshore assets and mine warfare. 

The NGOPV project is a follow-on of the Shachi class, which faced cancellation due to a prolonged delay of more than 10 years. Initially, a contract for five offshore patrol vessels was signed with the erstwhile Pipavav Shipyard (now Reliance Defence and Engineering). Delays caused by a change in the design partner and subsequent financial issues led to the project's cancellation in October 2020. 

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The Indian Navy reissued a new Request for Information (RFI) in 2017 for six ships, later approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in 2018 at a cost of ₹4,941 crore. The increase in the number of ships to eleven aims to compensate for the time lost due to the canceled Shachi class project, emphasizing the strategic importance of these acquisitions in enhancing India's maritime capabilities. 

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Published December 20th, 2023 at 22:52 IST

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