L&T on Friday launched the fourth Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) ahead of schedule. This is the fourth in the series of seven Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) being designed and constructed by L&T for a contract from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded in March 2015.
In April this year, a new benchmark was sent in the history of Indian defence shipbuilding when L&T delivered the ‘First of Class’ OPV named ICGS Vikram ahead of schedule. This was followed by another ahead of schedule delivery of second OPV, ICGS Vijaya in Aug-2018. Now, the OPV, which was also launched in Aug-2018, is presently being readied for sea trials.
According to the company, “L&T is the only shipyard in India that has consistently delivered the defence vessels ahead of schedule under ‘Make in India’ programme, which is possible because of the complete in-house design, modular construction approach, modern shipyard infrastructure, deployment of innovative digital solutions, highly experienced human resources and sound financial strength.”
Said Jayant D Patil, whole-time Director (Defence) and Member of L&T Board, “The launch of the fourth OPV ahead of schedule is yet another testimony to L&T’s commitment to national security. With unparalleled execution track record, robust financial strength and the widest range of defence solutions on offer, L&T is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in realizing ‘Make in India’ in defence.”
So far, the private sector company has delivered 45 defence vessels to the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard. All these vessels were completely designed in-house at L&T’s Warship Design Centre using sophisticated design and digital analysis tools.
The Floating Dock FDN-2 for the Indian Navy, designed and built for the first time in India, was delivered in March 2018 and is fully operational. Further, 42 Interceptor Boats have been delivered out of the series of 54 Boats being built for the Coast Guard and the remaining 12 are also ready for delivery, with the program being ahead of schedule by about two years.
According to Vice Adm B Kannan (retd), MD & CEO, L&T Shipbuilding, “L&T is consistently delivering OPV class of vessels within a few months from launch as they are launched with a very high level of outfitting. Further with each follow-on vessel, the percentage of completion of pre-outfitting has increased, reducing the overall cycle time. L&T is fully geared to meet accelerated delivery of defence ships in line with the requirements of the fleet expansion plans of the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard.”
L&T also provides repairs and refit services to the Indian Navy and Coast Guard at Kattupalli shipyard and has till date completed repair/refit (Short Refit/Normal Refit/Medium Refit as well as Emergency Repairs) of 11 Indian Naval and Coast Guard ships, meeting user requirements.
The vessel was launched at the hands of Chitra Chafekar at L&T’s Kattupalli Shipyard, near Chennai in the presence of the Chief Guest, IG Vijay D Chafekar, Commander Coast Guard Region (West) of Indian Coast Guard.