Pune: The Indian Navy is acquiring a new class of offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) to improve the Navy’s maritime surveillance and interdiction capabilities and has issued a request for information (RFI) to finalise specifications of the programme.
The offshore patrol vessels are usually small ships in a Navy’s fleet that are large and seaworthy enough to patrol off-shore in the open ocean.
As per the RFI, Next-Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (NGOPVs) should be capable of protection of offshore assets, maritime interception operations (MIO) and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations, presence cum surveillance missions, mine warfare (through modular payload) helo operation and support of special operations as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations. Navy plans to procure six NGOPVs which should displace about 2,500 tonnes.
The aim of seeking the RFI is also to finalise the specifications for the said vessels with inputs from vendors. The Navy wants a ship which should be able to sustain at sea for at least 60 days. There should be accommodation for about 20 officers (including four women officers) and 130 sailors.
“In the future, the policy may change and women officers can be posted on ships. Therefore, it is better to have accommodation for them as it will become difficult to make changes later. Also, during search and rescue operations, evacuations, women members can be there, who can stay comfortably on the ship,” a senior Navy officer told Sakal Times. Last year in December,
Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba had said, “The Navy is going to allow woman officers on board its warships and suitable facilities are being made available in the newly constructed ships for them. The Navy is examining rules and regulations for allowing woman officers on board the warships.” The RFI document further states that the aviation facilities should include day and night helicopter and Remote Piloted Aircraft (RPA) operating capability with deck strength for 15 tonne helicopter. The ship is to be built with the capability to sustain and operate in nuclear, biological, chemical (NBC) attack.
The design of the ship should incorporate stealth features to minimise radar cross section (RCS). The stealth feature should also incorporate appendages like flagstaff, ensign staff, stump mast etc to be flush with the deck and be operated electro-hydraulically.