Hon. Raksha Mantri, Shri A K Antony today commissioned the second Fast Patrol Vessel ICGS Abheek of the Indian Coast Guard built by Cochin Shipyard. The event was attended by Prof K V Thomas and other distinguished elected representatives from Kerala. Director General, Coast Guard , Vice Admiral Anurag G Thapliyal, AVSM , Cmde K Subramaniam, Chairman and Managing Director, Cochin Shipyard and other senior officials of Coast Guard and Cochin Shipyard were present on the occasion.
The contract for the construction of the 20 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPV) for the Indian Coast Guard was signed on the October 20, 2010. The present vessel was delivered by CSL on October 31, 2013. With the commissioning of this vessel the Indian Coast Guard’s efforts in ensuring coastal security has been strengthened further. The first FPV was commissioned on December 13, 2013, These vessels can achieve a speed of 33 knots and would be very effective in anti smuggling , anti piracy operations and also in fisheries protection and monitoring. The ships can also provide communication link and escort convoys during hostilities and wartimes. Due to the high speed of operation the vessel is very weight sensitive. In order to reduce the ship weight , the yard chose to build the superstructure with aluminum. Since this is a first time that CSL is using aluminum to build ships, a great amount of innovation and techniques were required to be mastered to produce extremely high quality of aluminum welds. It is heartening that the highly skilled workforce of the yard has achieved weight control on this ship right through the build process and the difference between the design weight and actual weight was only about 2 metric tons ie a difference of less that 01%. This has ensured that the designed speed was achieved on her very first outing at sea.
The ship is propelled by water jets and powered by three Main Engines, each of capacity – 2720 KW is built to the dual classification requirements of ABS and IRS.
Apart from the 20 Fast Patrol Vessels for the Indian Coast Guard, the yard is also constructing the most prestigious warships of the nation, the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier and two Offshore Support Vessels for the International Owners. The intrinsic strength of Cochin Shipyard is a diversified product profile and operations which has kept the yard afloat during difficult times. In the aftermath of the global downturn in 2008, the shipbuilding industry world over faced a sharp decline in order volume and price which had forced many yards world over to close down operations. However due to its presence in the commercial and defence shipbuilding as well as shiprepair, the yard had been able to post impressive performance in the past few years. The turnover of the yard doubled from Rs 834 crores in 2007-08 to Rs 1,500 crores in 2012-13. The net profit grew from Rs 94 crores to Rs 186 crores during the same period. The yard has been consistently paying dividend to GOI in the last five years. In order to keep up the tempo of growth the yard has invested in an additional Shiprepair Complex in Cochin Port Trust. The existing facility in this premises has been operationalised and the yard has taken up eight shiprepair projects in the Port Trust area. The year 2013 has been significant for the Shipyard, as the first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier was launched on August 12, 2013. Appreciated by one and all for the superior workmanship and project efficiency achieved on this project, Cochin Shipyard looks forward to many more challenging naval projects to take up in future. The skill and professionalism of the CSL workforce will see the yard through many challenging projects in future with success.