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Goa Shipyard Signs Contract to Build Six Vessels for Indian Coast Guard

India's Defence Ministry-owned Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) signed a contract with the government to build six Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), officials have said.

The order is said to be worth $400 million or Rs.1,800 crore.

"The vessels are based on in-house design of GSL, which has considerable expertise in designing and constructing a range of patrol vessels for the Indian Defence forces," the officials said.

"These vessels, when commissioned, will be the most advanced patrol vessels in service with the ICG," they said.

The overall length of the vessels will be 105 metre with a displacement of about 2,400 tonne.

"We expect to cut steel for the first of the vessels within fifteen days," officials added.

GSL has in the past built over 12 OPVs for the ICG.

The new vessels will be fitted with contemporary navigational integrated bridge systems, bridge watch navigational call up systems, CCTV systems and additional features such as quick response boats for rescue and anti-piracy operations, the officials said.

It will also have four-lane simulator for small arms training and many more advanced features, including helicopter decks.

"The hull would be the most efficient designed by GSL and would provide for fuel efficiency, crew comfort and excellent sea keeping qualities," the officials said.

India's Cabinet Committee on Security, the highest decision making body for Defence and security matters, had in April cleared this order for the ICG with GSL.

Following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the government sanctioned increasing the ICG's force levels three times over to around 200 ships and 100 aircraft by 2018 to enable it to fight piracy and terror threats from the sea.

At present, ICG is managing with about 100 surface vessels' and 45 aviation assets, which includes 24 Dornier planes, 17 Chetak helicopters and four Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters to protect India's 7,500-km coastline, including 1,197 islands, apart from 2.01 million sqkm of Exclusive Economic Zone.

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