The 5th and the last vessel of the indigenous project for 5 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for Indian Coast Guard was launched at the hands of Jayanthi Natarajan, president, Coast Guard Wives Welfare Association, in the presence of K. Natarajan, DG, Indian Coast Guard (ICG), who was the chief guest for the event on Monday at the Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL).
The vessel was named as ICGS ‘Saksham’. Considering the ongoing restrictions due to Covid protocol in force, the function was held in a scaled down manner at GSL in distinguished presence of Flag Officer Goa Area Rear Admiral Philipose G. Pynumootil, Chairman and Managing Director of Goa Shipyard Limited, Commodore B.B. Nagpal, and various other dignitaries.
The indigenous Project was launched by the Prime Minister on 13 November 2016. Since then 2 vessels have been commissioned and all 5 have been launched. In spite of the ongoing Covid situation and disruptions in supply chains, it is creditable for the shipyard to complete the 100% hull construction and launch the vessel within 18 months from keel laying which was in Jun 2019. The vessel is in advanced stage of outfitting and will be ready for delivery by October 2021, as per the contractual schedule.
Entirely designed in-house by the professionals of GSL, these OPVs will form a formidable part of the Coast Guard Fleet and used for protection of Exclusive Economic Zone of territorial water of the Nation. These vessels will be fitted with most modern and technologically advanced machinery and computerized controls systems, making them the most advanced Patrol Vessels in service with the Indian Coast Guard on delivery. These 2400 tonnes vessels will be equipped with features like Quick Response Boats for rescue and anti piracy, Gunnery simulators and many more advanced features. The hull would be the most efficient form designed by GSL and would provide for fuel efficiency, crew comfort and excellent sea keeping qualities.
While complementing GSL for achieving yet another milestone in execution of 5 CGOPVs Project, DGICG K. Natarajan said “The launching of this majestic ship, which is an example of fine workmanship and equipped with most advanced machineries, will help Indian Coast Guard in performing multifarious roles chartered to Indian Coast Guard more effectively.”He acknowledged the tremendous contribution of Goa Shipyard in indigenous shipbuilding, catering to the acquisition requirements of the Indian maritime forces, especially the Indian Coast Guard. He lauded the bonhomie and partnership between Coast Guard and GSL in design and construction of significant number of vessels for the Indian Coast Guard.
On this Occasion Cmde BB Nagpal, CMD GSL said “The launch of the Fifth OPV despite the serious supply chain constrains imposed by COVID-19 is a major feat for GSL. In line with the Shipyard’s tradition of delivering on time, we are confident to deliver this last vessel of the project, launched today, by Oct 2021. Our endeavour has been to maximise the indigenous content on these ships and I am happy to state that more than 70% indigenisation has been achieved for these ships.” CMD appreciated the support being provided by workers and Unions in meeting these challenging targets. He also thanked Ministry of Defence and Indian Coast Guard for reposing confidence in GSL.