The Ministry of Defence of India signed a contract with Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) on 24 January 2024, for the construction of 14 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) for the Indian Coast Guard. The contract is valued at Rs 1070.47 crore ($128.9m). These vessels will be designed and built domestically with a delivery schedule spanning 63 months, (by mid 2029).

The primary functions of these vessels will include surveillance, anti-smuggling operations, search and rescue missions, and anti-piracy measures, and the acquisition is part of an effort to bolster the capabilities of India’s Coast Guard while underscoring the Indian government’s focus on maritime security.

The FPVs will incorporate a range of technological features, including multipurpose drones, a remotely controlled water rescue craft lifebuoy, and artificial intelligence capabilities. 

The purchase is aligned with the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative for indigenising production within India, a central concept in modern Indian procurement ideology. The contract is expected to strengthen India’s indigenous shipbuilding industry, according to a release from the Indian Press information Bureau, and will promote marine sector economic activity, as well as ancillary industries.

Larsen and Toubro had previously delivered orders of vessels to the Indian Coast Guard, signing a contract in 2013 for 18 high-Speed Interceptor Boats, and in 2015 for seven Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). 

The Interceptor Boat is a ‘planing craft’, capable of achieving speeds exceeding 40 Knots. Built with a full aluminium-alloy lightweight hull, it is powered by a twin water-jet propulsion system to enable quick response crucial for coastal surveillance. 

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The OPVs under the project were long-range surface ships, capable of operation in maritime zones of India, including island territories with helicopter operational capabilities. Their roles include coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones of India, control and surveillance, anti-smuggling and anti-piracy with limited wartime roles.