Gandhinagar: Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited (RDEL) – a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure - on Tuesday launched first two offshore naval petrol vessels (NOPVs) at their shipyard in Pipavav, Gujarat.
The two NOPVs - 'Shachi' and 'Shruti' - are among five ships being constructed by RDEL under the P-21 project of the Indian Navy, the company said in a statement.
The two NOPVs were launched by Preeti Luthra, wife of Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command at the RDEL Shipyard Pipavav, Gujarat.
Speaking on the occasion, Vice Admiral Girish Luthra said that the launch is significant and a milestone event as these two NOPVs are the first warships to be launched by a private sector shipyard in India.
Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited is the first private shipyard in India to obtain defence production licence and sign a contract for defence ships in 2011.
The company is also engaged in construction of one training ship and 14 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) for the Indian Coast Guard, the statement said.
The five NOPVs are patrol ships armed with a 76 mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) system along with two 30 mm AK-630 guns, which provide medium range and short range offensive and defensive capabilities.
The armament is remotely controlled through an electronic fire control system.
According to RDEL, the vessels are fitted with 20,000 KW diesel engine-driven propulsion systems and can deliver speeds up to 25 knots.
He further said that 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, and is an enabling factor for increased private sector participation in this key area of national capability.
The RDEL has previously built ships for varied clients including ice bulk carriers for a Norwegian company, offshore support vessels for ONGC and offshore deck cargo barges for NPCC-UAE.
The company has also repaired and retrofitted commercial and defence ships as well as mobile oil drilling platforms for international clients, the statement added.