Surface Forces: An Indian First

April 30, 2012: For the first time an Indian shipyard is building a warship for export. Garden Reach Shipbuilders received an order from the Maruritius for two offshore patrol vessels (OPVs). These 91 meter (283 foot) long vessels displace 1,320 tons and are based on the Garden Reach designed Kora class corvettes. Four of these larger ships are in service with the Indian navy and the last one was completed eight years ago. OPVs have fewer weapons than equivalent size warships and instead carry more gear needed for boarding and inspecting ships and dealing with search and rescue.

An example of this can be seen in OPVs built in India for local use. Three years ago the Indian Coast Guard received the second of two Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel class ships. These 2,200 ton ships were built in India and each is 102 meters (325 feet) long and armed with a 30mm auto-cannon and several machine-guns. It can operate a small helicopter. Top speed is 43 kilometers an hour and the ship can stay at sea for 20 days at a time. The crew of 126 is trained to operate the boat in patrol mode 24/7. There are two cranes for putting two fast (inflatable) boats in the water, so that ships can be boarded and inspected. The ship is of Indian design and construction. India is developing a world class warship manufacturing capability and is currently designing and building everything from patrol boats to aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines.

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