India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has granted approval for the procurement of six next-generation offshore patrol vessels (NGOPV) for the Indian Navy, which is set to cost around Rs49.41bn ($701m).

Each of the vessels will be designed and manufactured in indigenous shipyards in India and are set to be fitted with a new sensor suite that offers increased endurance.

The NGOPVs will undertake a multitude of operational roles in blue and littoral waters and are intended to strengthen the country’s maritime security.

"The NGOPVs will be armed with better sensors and a greater percentage of indigenous components as part of the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative."

The roles outlined for the vessels include seaward defence, protection of offshore assets and maritime interdiction operations, as well as search and seizure missions.

Other operational roles include surveillance, mine warfare, anti-piracy, counter infiltration, anti-poaching / anti-trafficking, and assistance and disaster relief, in addition to search and rescue activities.

The vessels are set to join the navy’s Saryu-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), which originally entered service between 2013 and 2014.

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According to defence officials, the NGOPVs will be armed with better sensors and a greater percentage of indigenous components as part of the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.

A proposal for a new generation of OPVs was initially included as part of a request for information (RFI) issued by the Indian Navy in January.

The vessels will be required to displace approximately 2,500t with a draught of less than 5m based on the technical specification issued with the RFI.

Furthermore, the NGPOVs should be capable of accommodating roughly 130 sailors and 20 officers, including four female officers.

The Indian Navy is also expected to use the platform for military operations other than war activities such as non-combatant evacuations and anti-poaching patrols, reported.