New Delhi (Sputnik) — In consonance with Indian government's ongoing effort to fortify coastal security, Reliance Defense and Engineering Limited (RDEL) has kick-started the process of constructing fourteen fast patrol vessels (FPV) meant to be inducted into the Indian Coast Guard. The construction process is currently at the steel cutting and keel laying phase and delivery of the first 3500-ton training vessel is expected by January 2019.
The RDEL shipyard in Pipavav, Gujarat expects to complete delivery of the entire fleet within three years from 2019. RDEL is the first private shipyard in India to obtain defense production license and sign a contract for defense ships in 2011.
"The 14 Fast Patrol Vessels being constructed at Reliance Shipyard are propelled by water jets and is capable of speeds up to 33 knots. The ship is equipped with one 30 mm gun and two 12.7 mm guns. The training ship, meant for training of the Indian Coast Guard officers is fitted with total 10400 KW main propulsion diesel engines delivering a max speed of 20 knots. All ship operations are controlled by an intelligent integrated platform management system," the firm said in a statement.
In last fortnight, Indian Coast Guard has received two interceptor boats while two others were launched by Larsen and Toubro (L&T). The firm is constructing another seven OPVs for the Indian Coast Guard. The first delivery is expected by end of next month.
Presently the Indian Coast Guard operates a fleet of 60 ships and 19 Chetak & Dhruv advanced light helicopters which are considered insufficient for the coastline of more than 7500 kilometers. India aims to equip its coast guards with 175 ships & 110 aircraft in next five years.