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Updated December 21st, 2023 at 09:41 IST

Indian Coast Guard procures 6 next-gen Patrol Vessels for over ₹1600 crore, inks deal with MDL

MoD signed a deal for six modern patrol vessels to strengthen Coast Guard capabilities, prioritising indigenous shipbuilding and maritime security.

Four vessels slated for procurement are meant to replace older OPVs, while the remaining two will add strength to the existing ICG fleet.
Four vessels slated for procurement are meant to replace older OPVs, while the remaining two will add strength to the existing ICG fleet. | Image:Indian Coast Guard
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New Delhi: The Ministry of Defence, in a bid to procure six Next-Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (NGOPVS) for the Indian Coast Guard worth Rs 1,614.89 crore, has inked a deal with Mazagon Dockyard Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL), Mumbai, as per a Defence Ministry statement. This contract falls under the Buy (Indian-IDDM) category, emphasising the importance of buying locally and ensuring the procurement is entirely designed and developed within the country.

Four to replace, 2 to strengthen with advanced features 

According to the MoD, out of these six vessels, four are meant to replace older OPVs, while the remaining two will augment the existing ICG fleet. The objective behind acquiring these modern ships is to enhance the ICG's capabilities, demonstrating the government's increased attention to safeguarding the country's waters.

These 115-metre-long OPVs will be equipped with advanced features such as Multipurpose Drones, AI capability, and Wirelessly Controlled Remote Water Rescue Craft Lifebuoy, among other high-tech equipment, the statement added. These additions will aid the ICG in tasks like surveillance, law enforcement, search and rescue operations, managing maritime pollution, and providing humanitarian assistance when needed.

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Development timeline and Aatmanirbhar Bharat objectives

Furthermore, according to the MoD, MDL will develop and build these multirole vessels within a period of 66 months. Therefore, the acquisition is scheduled for induction around the last quarter of 2028 or early 2029. "The contract achieves the objectives of 'AtmaNirbhar Bharat' to boost the nation's indigenous shipbuilding capability, bolster maritime economic activities, and foster the growth of ancillary industries, especially the MSME sector," the statement added. Moreover, this initiative, as per the MoD, is expected to create job opportunities and enhance expertise within the nation.

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Specialised ship of ICG to aid in maritime training 

In addition, around October this year, the Defense Ministry inked a deal worth Rs 310 crore with Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL), Mumbai, to construct the First Indian Coast Guard Training Ship. This specialised vessel will serve as a training hub, equipping 70 Coast Guard and international trainee officers with essential sea skills, including helicopter operations. It features 'cutting-edge' surveillance technology, offering comprehensive insight into maritime challenges for cadets, as per MoD.

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Highlighting indigenous sourcing, the project aims to support local manufacturers, particularly MSMEs, creating jobs over three years. According to the MoD, this deal aligns with 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' goals and fortifies India's shipbuilding and maritime capabilities.

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Published December 21st, 2023 at 09:24 IST

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