Chennai: The seventh offshore patrol vessel of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), 'Vigraha' was formally unveiled at Kattupalli here on Tuesday. The vessel built by Larsen and Toubro, is the last in the series of seven OPVs contracted to the company by the Ministry of Defence in 2015. It was for the first time a private sector shipyard has undertaken the design and construction of offshore patrol vessel class of ships. The OPV is 98 metre long, 15 metre wide, has 3.6 m draught, 2140T displacement and a range of 5,000 nautical miles. It can attain a sustained speed of upto 26 knots.

The vessel is expected to be inducted into the Coast Guard after completion of extensive trials and testing for the equipment and machinery. Finance Ministry Secretary (expenditure) TV Somanathan, Coast Guard Director General K Natarajan and senior company officials took part in the launch at the Kattupalli port near here. Offshore Patrol Vessels are long range surface ships, capable of operation in maritime zones of the country including island territories with helicopter operation capabilities.

Some of the roles undertaken by the OPVs include coastal and offshore patrol, policing maritime zones of the country, surveillance, anti-smuggling and anti-piracy operations.

"Ahead of scheduled launch of ICGS Vigraha in these challenging times will pave the way for her early deployment by the Coast Guard, which has assumed greater significance in current geopolitical situation", Larsen and Toubro, CEO, S N Subrahmanyan said.

Larsen and Toubro has already designed and built ICGS 'Vikram', ICGS 'Vijaya' ICGS 'Veera', ICGS 'Varaha', ICGS 'Varad', ICGS 'Vajra'. Larsen and Toubro, senior executive vice president (defence and smart technologies) Jayant Patil said, "L&T has accomplished this launch through innovative ways to overcome unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19 over the last six months". Larsen and Toubro is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in augmentation and modernisation of Indian Navy and Coast Guard fleets and consistently deliver 'Make in India' in defence, he said.