The Ministry of Defence has signed contract with Mumbai-based Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) on Wednesday for acquisition of 14 fast patrol vessels (FPVs) for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) at a cost of ₹1,070.47 crore. These multi role FPVs will be indigenously designed, developed and manufactured by MDL under Buy (Indian-IDDM) Category and will be delivered in total 63 months, the MoD said in an official statement on Wednesday.

Along with several high tech advanced features and equipment, these FPVs will be equipped with multipurpose drones, wirelessly controlled remote water rescue craft lifebuoy and Artificial lntelligence capability enabling greater flexibility and operational edge to the ICG to face new age multidimensional challenges, the Ministry commented.

“These modern FPVs will play a critical role in enhancing fisheries protection and monitoring, control and surveillance, anti-smuggling operations, search and rescue operations including in shallow waters, assistance to ship/crafts in distress, towing capabilities, assistance and monitoring during marine pollution response operations, anti-piracy operations. The acquisition of these FPVs is aimed to boost ICG’s capability and reinforces the increased focus of the government towards maritime security,” the MoD statement read.

The contract which is in line with the aatmanirbhar Bharat will boost nation’s indigenous shipbuilding capability bolstering maritime economic activities and foster growth of ancillary industries especially the MSME sector, the Ministry claims. It said, the project will effectively generate employment opportunities and expertise development.