Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels of Indian Navy and Coast Guard : Updates & Discussions

Ankit Kumar

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Nov 30, 2017
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Vicky

Rajaraja Chola
Dec 1, 2017
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Canada
Not their role. Would make them more costly and reduce availability the exact opposite of what they are meant for

You on the other hand want 2500 odd tonnes OPV to carry only one OTV76mm automatic cannons and 2 Ak630's and a helideck? That's the current weapon systems available on our recent OPV's. Even Coast Guard of some navies include this weaponry.

They should atleast have minimum air defence for its own protection or say if its escorting some smaller fleets during war. This ship is a glorified convoy ship also used for special forces operation and for 60 days sea faring endurability.

TBH for its size it is very underequipped. Simply they could build 1000 tonnes 12 OPV's. Which can perform the same convoy roles with less time endurance.
 

Notsuperstitious

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Dec 31, 2017
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You on the other hand want 2500 odd tonnes OPV to carry only one OTV76mm automatic cannons and 2 Ak630's and a helideck? That's the current weapon systems available on our recent OPV's. Even Coast Guard of some navies include this weaponry.

They should atleast have minimum air defence for its own protection or say if its escorting some smaller fleets during war. This ship is a glorified convoy ship also used for special forces operation and for 60 days sea faring endurability.

TBH for its size it is very underequipped. Simply they could build 1000 tonnes 12 OPV's. Which can perform the same convoy roles with less time endurance.

Agreed. Our naval standards are very different from the chinese ones. Their type 56 at 40% the size of our kamortas pack more punch with only slightly less range.
 
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bonobashi

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Dec 3, 2017
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@Notsuperstitious
@Vicky

Offshore Patrol Vessels have entirely different roles to play from frigates or corvettes, or similar classical convoy escorts. They were evolved as fishery protection vessels, lightly armed patrol vessels not required to use excessive force, perhaps the occasional gunshot fired to warn off an aggressive fishing boat captain charging aggressively towards the vessel and best kept at a distance to avoid an international incident. It can also serve, very well, in a loitering, observing capacity off the coast of Somalia, for instance; there is nothing to indicate that this is the work that it/they will do, but it is tempting to think so. Such collisions have occurred, regrettably, but AFAIK they were between Icelandic OPVs and British trawlers, not what we might have expected.

However, primarily, they can serve to protect our own fishery vessels, for instance, off the Sri Lanka fishing grounds where our mechanised boats habitually get into trouble, or in the waters off Saurashtra, where a drift of a few miles in windy conditions puts our fishing vessels in danger of drifting into Pakistani territorial waters, and gets the boats detained and the fishermen jailed for months. A third use would be to protect the deep recesses of the Bay of Bengal that are already overfished by Thai, Malay and Chinese vessels; apparently, other boats also come and fish there freely, and are under little or no surveillance.

They are not, as Vicky suggests, convoy escorts, being too lightly armed and too slow for that, nor are they special forces carriers, not unless they are very fast, very stealthy, and, yes, very heavily armed, but with primary emphasis on fast and on stealthy.

We have to read @Abingdonboy 's bewildered dismissal in that context. In the UK, they are clear that OPVs are effectively large boats, built for liveability and long endurance cruises, but lightly armed; nobody puts expensive arms and ordnance on fishery protection vessels if they can help it. The Sea Lords' eyes do not light up at the thought of putting in CIWS, SAM batteries, cruise missile vertical launchers, automatic cannon of 25mm or greater calibre, and torpedoes into boats that will spend most of their time with their crew intoning menacing police-like messages into megaphones.

But you may, ironically, be right; we have such bureaucratic interference that some chair-borne ministry mariner might well have the roles that you refer to in his mind (sic). In which case you both can laugh at the pompous definitions used or assumptions used, and bask in having been right all along, instinctively so. Until then, just let them remain fishery protection boats, please.
 

Notsuperstitious

Well-Known member
Dec 31, 2017
400
552
India
@Notsuperstitious
@Vicky

Offshore Patrol Vessels have entirely different roles to play from frigates or corvettes, or similar classical convoy escorts. They were evolved as fishery protection vessels, lightly armed patrol vessels not required to use excessive force, perhaps the occasional gunshot fired to warn off an aggressive fishing boat captain charging aggressively towards the vessel and best kept at a distance to avoid an international incident. It can also serve, very well, in a loitering, observing capacity off the coast of Somalia, for instance; there is nothing to indicate that this is the work that it/they will do, but it is tempting to think so. Such collisions have occurred, regrettably, but AFAIK they were between Icelandic OPVs and British trawlers, not what we might have expected.

However, primarily, they can serve to protect our own fishery vessels, for instance, off the Sri Lanka fishing grounds where our mechanised boats habitually get into trouble, or in the waters off Saurashtra, where a drift of a few miles in windy conditions puts our fishing vessels in danger of drifting into Pakistani territorial waters, and gets the boats detained and the fishermen jailed for months. A third use would be to protect the deep recesses of the Bay of Bengal that are already overfished by Thai, Malay and Chinese vessels; apparently, other boats also come and fish there freely, and are under little or no surveillance.

They are not, as Vicky suggests, convoy escorts, being too lightly armed and too slow for that, nor are they special forces carriers, not unless they are very fast, very stealthy, and, yes, very heavily armed, but with primary emphasis on fast and on stealthy.

We have to read @Abingdonboy 's bewildered dismissal in that context. In the UK, they are clear that OPVs are effectively large boats, built for liveability and long endurance cruises, but lightly armed; nobody puts expensive arms and ordnance on fishery protection vessels if they can help it. The Sea Lords' eyes do not light up at the thought of putting in CIWS, SAM batteries, cruise missile vertical launchers, automatic cannon of 25mm or greater calibre, and torpedoes into boats that will spend most of their time with their crew intoning menacing police-like messages into megaphones.

But you may, ironically, be right; we have such bureaucratic interference that some chair-borne ministry mariner might well have the roles that you refer to in his mind (sic). In which case you both can laugh at the pompous definitions used or assumptions used, and bask in having been right all along, instinctively so. Until then, just let them remain fishery protection boats, please.

Sir,

Thailand is putting missiles on their patrol boats. Australia making their patrol boats mission customisable. Obviously these countries have identified the need. Heck even the USN is ramping up fire power on their littoral ships conventionally and unconventionally across the board by using SAMs in a anti shipping role.

So definitions dont matter at all, we are discussing if we have the need.

I believe we need more weaponised platforms given our vast area of op, and we dont need a 22 billion dollar carrier. Obviously navy thinks otherwise.
 

Ashwin

Agent_47
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Nov 30, 2017
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Thailand is putting missiles on their patrol boats. Australia making their patrol boats mission customisable.
Small economies like Pakistan or Thailand have no money to buy enough frigates so the put everything on a small ship. We did that once too ( Veer-class corvette). Check the document this is mission customisable too.

Heck even the USN is ramping up fire power on their littoral ships conventionally and unconventionally across the board by using SAMs in a anti shipping role.
USN LCS is a frigate not OPV. Big difference.

So definitions dont matter at all, we are discussing if we have the need.
Exactly, What we need is lightly armed patrol vessels. To do low-intensity missions which will free bigger frigates to do missions which they were intended.
 

Vicky

Rajaraja Chola
Dec 1, 2017
354
405
Canada
@Notsuperstitious
@Vicky

Offshore Patrol Vessels have entirely different roles to play from frigates or corvettes, or similar classical convoy escorts. They were evolved as fishery protection vessels, lightly armed patrol vessels not required to use excessive force, perhaps the occasional gunshot fired to warn off an aggressive fishing boat captain charging aggressively towards the vessel and best kept at a distance to avoid an international incident. It can also serve, very well, in a loitering, observing capacity off the coast of Somalia, for instance; there is nothing to indicate that this is the work that it/they will do, but it is tempting to think so. Such collisions have occurred, regrettably, but AFAIK they were between Icelandic OPVs and British trawlers, not what we might have expected.

However, primarily, they can serve to protect our own fishery vessels, for instance, off the Sri Lanka fishing grounds where our mechanised boats habitually get into trouble, or in the waters off Saurashtra, where a drift of a few miles in windy conditions puts our fishing vessels in danger of drifting into Pakistani territorial waters, and gets the boats detained and the fishermen jailed for months. A third use would be to protect the deep recesses of the Bay of Bengal that are already overfished by Thai, Malay and Chinese vessels; apparently, other boats also come and fish there freely, and are under little or no surveillance.

They are not, as Vicky suggests, convoy escorts, being too lightly armed and too slow for that, nor are they special forces carriers, not unless they are very fast, very stealthy, and, yes, very heavily armed, but with primary emphasis on fast and on stealthy.

We have to read @Abingdonboy 's bewildered dismissal in that context. In the UK, they are clear that OPVs are effectively large boats, built for liveability and long endurance cruises, but lightly armed; nobody puts expensive arms and ordnance on fishery protection vessels if they can help it. The Sea Lords' eyes do not light up at the thought of putting in CIWS, SAM batteries, cruise missile vertical launchers, automatic cannon of 25mm or greater calibre, and torpedoes into boats that will spend most of their time with their crew intoning menacing police-like messages into megaphones.

But you may, ironically, be right; we have such bureaucratic interference that some chair-borne ministry mariner might well have the roles that you refer to in his mind (sic). In which case you both can laugh at the pompous definitions used or assumptions used, and bask in having been right all along, instinctively so. Until then, just let them remain fishery protection boats, please.

The words, Convoy vessels, Special forces operations missions were taken from their RFP issued by the Navy. I do understand we need ships to patrol our EEZ's or do anti piracy operation in a far off area. But it is the size baffles me. Its the size of a corvette, or the size of a frigate of various navies. Size requirement is 2500 tonnes (+- )100 tonnes. So just for the sake of endurance we are putting 1000 tonnes on a ship to carry extra fuel and foods?

Do you understand in times of war definitions of frigates or OPV goes out of window and all targets become legitimate. The enemy wont let off the ship thinking its just an OPV. And it might still doing convoy roles in times of war, where enemy will attack any private supply vessels and an OPV is req to protect it. A minimum of 8 cell SAM does actually good to itself in times of protecting itself in times of war and other small ships it is escorting. If its attacked it will be a big morale down for the Navy.

What I am asking is, for its size, give it decent protection. Not even asking anti ship missiles. Just SAM's.
 
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bonobashi

Well-Known member
Dec 3, 2017
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411
Sir,

Thailand is putting missiles on their patrol boats. Australia making their patrol boats mission customisable. Obviously these countries have identified the need. Heck even the USN is ramping up fire power on their littoral ships conventionally and unconventionally across the board by using SAMs in a anti shipping role.

So definitions dont matter at all, we are discussing if we have the need.

I believe we need more weaponised platforms given our vast area of op, and we dont need a 22 billion dollar carrier. Obviously navy thinks otherwise.

Oranges, papayas and jackfruit all in the same comparison?

Patrol boats are the modern equivalent of torpedo boats - the most aggressive vessels that a navy typically operates. Comparison - OSA class missile boats firing the Styx and setting Karachi Harbour alight in 71 under Kuruvilla. There is EVERY reason for the Thais to put missiles into their missile boats (or torpedo boats - the so-called Osa was classified as torpedo boat until very late in the day). Obviously, too, the Australians want multi-mission capability; that simply means that the same hull can perform multiple functions.

So what need have these countries identified that is not standard for such very fast small boats? They have stuck to the book.

An OPV is larger, much, much larger, and slower, much, much slower; how do we even begin to compare the mission capabilities of the two types?

As for need, either the IN needs OPVs, and these have well-defined roles, or they don't, they actually need something else. If they need corvettes, why shouldn't they get corvettes? Or small destroyers? Remember the Hunt class in the IN - Godavari, Gomti, Ganga? They were about 1,200 MT, small, reasonably fast, not the dashing fleet destroyers, but what the RN called 'escort' destroyers, a short-term stop-gap arrangement to eke out a shortage. They were not hugely sea-worthy, not to RN standards, and were to be deployed only in the North Sea and the Mediterranean, but they did a first-class job.

It sounds as if you have that kind of role in mind. Fitting more bells and whistles into an OPV won't do much for it; we will have a slow, lumbering gun truck not able to do much at all at sea, a vessel that pirates will run rings around. At best, it will be a phallic symbol in coastal waters and in dealing with the patrol boats of others, and we will land up looking very silly, spending twice the material to make something that functionally could be done with half.

I don't know; please continue discussing things your way if you like, I was just pointing out the obvious fallacies. Just ignore it and carry on.
 

bonobashi

Well-Known member
Dec 3, 2017
856
411
The words, Convoy vessels, Special forces operations missions were taken from their RFP issued by the Navy. I do understand we need ships to patrol our EEZ's or do anti piracy operation in a far off area. But it is the size baffles me. Its the size of a corvette, or the size of a frigate of various navies. Size requirement is 2500 tonnes (+- )100 tonnes. So just for the sake of endurance we are putting 1000 tonnes on a ship to carry extra fuel and foods?

Do you understand in times of war definitions of frigates or OPV goes out of window and all targets become legitimate. The enemy wont let off the ship thinking its just an OPV. And it might still doing convoy roles in times of war, where enemy will attack any private supply vessels and an OPV is req to protect it. A minimum of 8 cell SAM does actually good to itself in times of protecting itself in times of war and other small ships it is escorting. If its attacked it will be a big morale down for the Navy.

What I am asking is, for its size, give it decent protection. Not even asking anti ship missiles. Just SAM's.

I just told your mate to bash on regardless, and to ignore me. Convoy vessel roles were there in the original DNA; in my post intended for @Notsuperstitious, I had talked about the tiny little Hunt class destroyers that did convoy duty before the frigates started rolling out (basic difference, frigates were built to Commercial Off the Shelf specs, or COTS, to use modern IT industry parlance, and were not to MilSpec); those little boats were based on what the RN earlier called escort sloops, basically fisheries and offshore boats that had a few guns bolted on.

The size baffles me, too; it makes this class thoroughly unfit for in-shore commando/special forces work. In Master Ian Chappell's words, it would stand out like a dog's balls. Out at sea, hauling this dead weight around would significantly increase the fuel expenditure (remember that a ship goes at a maximum speed governed by the square root of its length, so, shorter - smaller - the faster).

I don't understand what you are saying about times of war and target legitimacy. Why should we put these into harm's way in wartime? If they are fishery protection vessels, what would they be doing if the PN prowls around looking for fishing smacks to blow up? As for convoy roles, I found that reference a bit baffling: what private supply vessels (mercantile shipping, in other words) would, say, the PN be attacking? There's no other Navy that I know of in the vicinity that might have a gun to fire. First, if they fire on non-Indian flag-bearing vessels, there will be a coalition of maritime powers breathing heavily down their necks; they would have egregiously violated the freedom of the seas. It's illegal. Second, if they declare a blockade, how will they enforce it? With two and a half surface ships? Even the IN would find a blockade very, very difficult to operate, for reasons that became clear while studying the option a couple of months ago. What will either Pakistan or Sri Lanka do?

If you really want anti-aircraft protection, as you seem to have assumed that the main threat will come from the air, as well it might, won't a few MANPADs do? SAMs? AShW and ASW capability? why not just do a small frigate in the first place? The design would come out much nicer.

Just saying.
 

bonobashi

Well-Known member
Dec 3, 2017
856
411
Oh, a Parthu-an shot. It's about Littoral Combat Vessels, or Command Vessels for one class.

Those are the equivalent of WWI Monitors, very slow, very heavily gunned ships to cause havoc on shore, although LCS are not at all slow, through a wide range of ordnance, Cruise Missiles, Guided Missiles, Ordnance (including the awe-struck author's 155 mm bore naval gun, or 6", that was used to gun Light Cruisers in WWII, forget about Heavy Cruisers with 8" or 210 mm guns), the kitchen sink....OK, maybe not the last. Nobody would want to come within range of one of these nasty pieces of work, and they are designed to go very close in-shore, and practically rest on beaches on its elbows and breathe bad breath in the general direction of the enemy.

If that is what they wanted, totally different specs needed. What they've defined could be holed by some of the 130 mm field artillery that we have; doesn't need anything much more.
 

Vicky

Rajaraja Chola
Dec 1, 2017
354
405
Canada
I just told your mate to bash on regardless, and to ignore me. Convoy vessel roles were there in the original DNA; in my post intended for @Notsuperstitious, I had talked about the tiny little Hunt class destroyers that did convoy duty before the frigates started rolling out (basic difference, frigates were built to Commercial Off the Shelf specs, or COTS, to use modern IT industry parlance, and were not to MilSpec); those little boats were based on what the RN earlier called escort sloops, basically fisheries and offshore boats that had a few guns bolted on.

The size baffles me, too; it makes this class thoroughly unfit for in-shore commando/special forces work. In Master Ian Chappell's words, it would stand out like a dog's balls. Out at sea, hauling this dead weight around would significantly increase the fuel expenditure (remember that a ship goes at a maximum speed governed by the square root of its length, so, shorter - smaller - the faster).

I don't understand what you are saying about times of war and target legitimacy. Why should we put these into harm's way in wartime? If they are fishery protection vessels, what would they be doing if the PN prowls around looking for fishing smacks to blow up? As for convoy roles, I found that reference a bit baffling: what private supply vessels (mercantile shipping, in other words) would, say, the PN be attacking? There's no other Navy that I know of in the vicinity that might have a gun to fire. First, if they fire on non-Indian flag-bearing vessels, there will be a coalition of maritime powers breathing heavily down their necks; they would have egregiously violated the freedom of the seas. It's illegal. Second, if they declare a blockade, how will they enforce it? With two and a half surface ships? Even the IN would find a blockade very, very difficult to operate, for reasons that became clear while studying the option a couple of months ago. What will either Pakistan or Sri Lanka do?

If you really want anti-aircraft protection, as you seem to have assumed that the main threat will come from the air, as well it might, won't a few MANPADs do? SAMs? AShW and ASW capability? why not just do a small frigate in the first place? The design would come out much nicer.

Just saying.

You and me know its not possible for adding ASW or AShW capability for roles its not designed to do. It means adding Sonars, specialised radars, missile/Torpedo tubes and other relevant infrastructure. In war times there is nothing thats called fair. Remember German Ship Emden in WW1? It created havoc in Indian Ocean with private merchant supply vessels refusing to travel to farther than India. Or German U boats in ww2 which attacked private merchant vessels in the Atlantic.

The thing is when and if things go desperate for India, we can summon private vessels to load supplies for our forces and population. In that case it does need convoys. Its true OPVs are not supposed to be in forefront in any war. But India has a vast coastline and we cannot ensure that any Pakistani ship may slip through defences and target any coastal area just for proving an point (just like Dwaraka in 65') and an OPV comes in contact with it. Even our ICG has ordered OPV's with 2000 tonnes capability with nearly the same armaments like this one. Except it can also do environmental related tasks.

The main problem we face is the Chinese. They are churning out destroyers/frigates like pan cakes. Even if they decommission all their older ships, they are going to order 2 * IN capable warships in years to come. They are currently building 14 destroyers and 20 some frigates. We need to concentrate on small frigates and not waste the hull capability to go waste. The govt is not giving approvals too much easily nowadays. So they need to be optimal in what they order. I might be missing or there is some classified info. But for layman's eyes the OPV's size and its role does not correspond with each other. Its size for its role is a white elephant as you pointed out.
 

bonobashi

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Dec 3, 2017
856
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You and me know its not possible for adding ASW or AShW capability for roles its not designed to do. It means adding Sonars, specialised radars, missile/Torpedo tubes and other relevant infrastructure. In war times there is nothing thats called fair. Remember German Ship Emden in WW1? It created havoc in Indian Ocean with private merchant supply vessels refusing to travel to farther than India. Or German U boats in ww2 which attacked private merchant vessels in the Atlantic.

The thing is when and if things go desperate for India, we can summon private vessels to load supplies for our forces and population. In that case it does need convoys. Its true OPVs are not supposed to be in forefront in any war. But India has a vast coastline and we cannot ensure that any LOOL ship may slip through defences and target any coastal area just for proving an point (just like Dwaraka in 65') and an OPV comes in contact with it. Even our ICG has ordered OPV's with 2000 tonnes capability with nearly the same armaments like this one. Except it can also do environmental related tasks.

The main problem we face is the Chinese. They are churning out destroyers/frigates like pan cakes. Even if they decommission all their older ships, they are going to order 2 * IN capable warships in years to come. They are currently building 14 destroyers and 20 some frigates. We need to concentrate on small frigates and not waste the hull capability to go waste. The govt is not giving approvals too much easily nowadays. So they need to be optimal in what they order. I might be missing or there is some classified info. But for layman's eyes the OPV's size and its role does not correspond with each other. Its size for its role is a white elephant as you pointed out.

Fine. Great. So what is the point? That every vessel should be armed to do something other than it is designed to do?
 

bonobashi

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Dec 3, 2017
856
411
@Vicky

If it is the PLAN that we fear, then the answer is not in arming OPVs; it is in assessing the threat, its targets/objectives, and the slickest responses to those combinations of threat and objectives.

Why don't you try that for a change? You might find startling results, rather than throwing a gun or a missile into every square metre of deck space, what emerges might make more sense.
 
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Vicky

Rajaraja Chola
Dec 1, 2017
354
405
Canada
Fine. Great. So what is the point? That every vessel should be armed to do something other than it is designed to do?

My point is effective and efficient utilisation of every square inch of the platform for what it is designed for. In my naked eyes, this platform doesnt seem very efficient nor effective as we agreed.
 

bonobashi

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Dec 3, 2017
856
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My point is effective and efficient utilisation of every square inch of the platform for what it is designed for. In my naked eyes, this platform doesnt seem very efficient nor effective as we agreed.

You mean it's too large for your liking? I take it you have never been to sea. The difference between Imperial German (for that matter, Third Reich German) naval architecture and the naval architecture of the Anglo-Americans might have started making sense to you in that context; as it stands, I can see that bare deck space is offensive, and 'sea-worthiness' is not important. If you want to continue to comment on these aspects, why an OPV should be 2,500 MT rather than 1,000 MT, or why it should not, do take a look at Nicholas Monsarrat's book The Cruel Sea (it's about conditions on board the new-fangled corvettes, and harsh sea conditions during the Battle of the Atlantic) and let's talk about things again.

Let me go back to the example of the Hunt Class destroyers. This is one.

1516582069656.png

It weighed around 1200 MT. The first few were found to be so squeezed together and so top-heavy that one of the turrets had to be removed. Another (later) patch tried out was to cut (the design, not an actual ship) down the length, add some two to three feet to the width (broaden her beam, in other words) and built to that broader design.

The effect of enlarging one of these is to make them more stable in storm conditions (the Navy doesn't like calling any uneasy movement a storm; it classifies conditions into 'Sea States', in modern USN parlance, or into similar, but named, states in RN practice). If you were a sailor, you would very quickly learn which ships are good sea-going vessels, and which are not. This is not a problem to be addressed by laymen discussing things on an online forum; these belong to the realm of professional military sailors and naval architects.

Let me put it to you this way: if these ships are supposed to hang around Saurashtra and the Gulf of Mannar, for a week at a time, or even less, I would agree with you about their being bloated beyond need. If they are meant for long voyages, and to loiter around on reaching their destination, for weeks, even months on end, then all the extra ship-building plate makes sense. With that, I have shot my bolt; do have a lovely time fitting in gadgets wherever there is space, making the damn things top-heavy, cluttering the deck so that everybody has to stay off the decks when in action, and getting a top-heavy boat that probably will not handle a monsoon sea very well.

Have fun, guys. I suspect that Hunt Class might have looked like this if you had a voice in its design:

1516582832133.png


Tata.
 
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bonobashi

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Dec 3, 2017
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Have been to sea quite very much. Nancowri and Akbar ships. If you are old and have travelled to Andamans u might know those names sound nostalgic ;)

So you should know what is sea-worthy and what is not.
 

randomradio

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Nov 30, 2017
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DAC Approves Procurement of Six NGOPVs

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman met here today and accorded approval for the procurement of six indigenously designed and manufactured Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (NGOPVs) for the Indian Navy at an approximate cost of Rs. 4941 crore.

The NGOPVs will be built in indigenous shipyards and will be fitted with state-of-the-art sensor suite with increased endurance. These platforms will strengthen maritime security by undertaking a multitude of operational roles both in blue water and littorals. These include seaward defence, protection of offshore assets, maritime interdiction operations and search & seizure operations, surveillance missions, mine warfare, anti-piracy missions, counter infiltration operations, anti-poaching/trafficking operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and search and rescue missions.

SRR/NAo/Nampi/Rajib

DAC approves acquisition of 6 new OPVs
"The new vessel will be better armed; will cover longer distances (better endurance), multi-role choppers, better stealth features, state of the art equipment, better sensors," an officer told ANI.