Two naval warships, built by the Reliance Defence and Engineering Ltd (RDEL) for the Indian avy, were today launched at the company’s Pipavav shipyard in Gujarat. The naval offshore patrol vessels (NOPVs) are part of a five-ship project being constructed by the company, the Navy said in a statement. The construction of the two patrol vessels is a first by a private shipyard in India. The Navy said the NOPVs, being constructed at RDEL shipyard, are armed with 76mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) system along with two 30mm AK-630M guns which provide medium range and short range offensive capabilities.
Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, the Flag Officer Commanding- in-Chief Western Naval Command, called the launch of the ships Shachi and Shruti a “milestone event”. The primary role of NOPVs is to undertake surveillance of the country’s vast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) besides operational tasks such as anti-piracy patrols, fleet support operations, maritime security of offshore assets and coastal security operations. “The NOPVs would increase the ocean surveillance and patrolling capabilities of the Indian Navy,” the Navy said adding the armament onboard the ships is remotely controlled through an electronic fire control system.
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The ships are fitted with diesel engine driven propulsion systems and can deliver speeds up to 25 knots. All ship operations are controlled by an intelligent integrated platform management system.
Vice Admiral Luthra said opening up of warship building to the private sector by the Indian Navy is an opportunity that the private sector must make full use of. He also said the shipyards in India need to constantly strive to transform with an aim to achieve global standards in quality, productivity and build periods. The RDEL previously has also built ships for a number of clients including Ice Bulk Carriers for a Norwegian company and offshore support vessels for ONGC.