There has been a lot of news about the Indian Coast Guard lately. India is rapidly its Coast Guard, spurred on by the experience of the Mumbai attack.
Yesterday they commissioned the Vijit (OPV31), a 310 ft Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), 1,800 tons, with 30 mm cannon, helo deck and hanger, and a maximum speed of 26 knots. This is the second ship of a class of three. The first ship of the class, ICGS Vishwast (OPV 30) was entered service March 17.
Another, larger vessel, the Sumitra (seen below), 2,300 tons, 76 mm and two 30 mm, helo deck and hanger was launched Dec 6. She is the forth ship of her class.
There are indications the Indians will soon contract for another six OPVs. So currently the Indian Coast Guard has 18 Offshore Patrol Vessels, they have two under construction, and the apparent intent to add six more. The oldest entered service in December 1983. In addition they are building three 3,300 ton polloution control vessels, and the Indian Navy has six ships specifically designed to patrol the EEZ that are half sisters of one of the Coast Guard classes.
The size of India’s patrol force compares favorably with our own. Conservatively assuming 20 ships, dividing India’s EEZ 2,305,143 sq km by 20 OPVs the ratio is 115, 257 sq km/OPV compared to the ratio for the US (12,174,629 sq km EEZ/43 OPVs) of 283,181 sq km/OPV.
They have also issued Requests for Information (RFI) as a step toward procurement of 16 six point five ton, max take off weight (MTOW) helicopters for shipboard use and 14 twelve ton MTOW helicopters for use from both shore and ships. “The RFIs require the (sic) both types of helicopters to have hard points for gun mounts that can take both 7.62mm and 12.7mm guns. It also wants the shore-based helicopters to be able to integrate 20/30mm cannons.”