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Two Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels (NOPVs), built by Reliance Defence and Engineering Ltd (RDEL), were launched on Tuesday at the company’s shipyard at Pipavav in Gujarat. The two NOPVs - NS001 & NS002, are part of five warships project being built by RDEL for the Indian Navy.The two naval vessels constructed by a private player is a first in India.

Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command, termed the introduction of the two naval ships - Shachi and Shruti as a “milestone event”.

Vice Admiral Luthra said that opening up of construction of warships for the private players by the Navy is to be considered an opportunity for them whch they must make full use of.

He further said that the shipyards in the country need to be constantly upgraded with a goal to achieve international standards in productivity, quality and construction periods. 

The major role of NOPVs is to carry out surveillance of India’s vast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in addition to the operational tasks like anti-piracy patrols, maritime security, fleet support and coastal security operations.

“The NOPVs would increase the ocean surveillance and patrolling capabilities of the Indian Navy,” the Navy said in a statement.

The arms deployment onboard the NOPVs is remotely controlled via an intelligent integrated electronic control system, it added.

The ships are inbuilt with 20,000 kW powered diesel engine and can provide a speed of 25 knots.

RDEL, a part of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group, is the first private shipyard in the country to obtain a license for defence production and a contract for building defence ships in 2011. Besides, the company is also constructing a training ship and 14 Fast Petrol Vessels (FPVs) for the cost guards.

The company has constructed ships for several clients earlier too, including offshore support vessels for government-run ONGC, ice bulk carriers for a Norway firm, and deck cargo barges for NPCC-UAE.