L&T hands over offshore patrol vessel to Coast Guard

Chennai: An offshore patrol vessel (OPV), entirely developed in-house by Larsen and Toubro and the country’s first-ever such defence craft to be built in a private shipyard, was today handed over to the Coast Guard.

The vessel named “Vikram”, built at Larsen and Toubro’s Kattupalli shipyard, about 45 km from here, was handed over to the Coast Guard ahead of the March 2018 delivery schedule.

This is the first of the seven vessels for which the Rs 1,432-crore contract had been awarded by the Ministry of Defence in March 2015. As per the contract, the first vessel was slated to be delivered in March next year.

The vessel, equipped with modern weapon and state-of- the-art radar systems, would be deployed for day and night surveillance patrol, search and rescue and in pollution response operations in exclusive economic zones of the country, the Coast Guard said in a release.

The OPV is designed entirely in-house and became the first defence vessel to be built in a private shipyard.

The vessel was launched by Additional Director General, Coast Guard, V S R Murthy at a function at Kattupalli shipyard, in presence of Larsen and Toubro Board Member and Whole Time Director (Defence Business) J D Patil, Larsen and Toubro Ship Building Managing Director and CEO B Kannan.

According to the release, the ship is indigenously designed and would be inducted into service by April 2018 after completion of extensive trials of equipment and machineries.

The ship is fitted with one 30 mm automatic gun and two 12.7 mm gun with fire control systems. It would have integral twin-engine helicopter, which would enhance its operational, surveillance, search and rescue capabilities.

The vessel is equipped with state-of-the-art radars, navigation and communication systems capable of operating in tropical conditions.

“This launch is a reaffirmation of our credentials in the ship-building space as this is our third major mandate from the Coast Guard,” Larsen and Toubro CEO and Managing Director S N Subrahmanyan said.

“It is also heartening to note that our team has overcome all challenges to remain ahead of contractual schedules for all the mandates,” he said in a statement.

Stating that Larsen and Toubro achieved the distinction of launching the lead ship of a new class of defence vessel, Kannan said that “this (today’s launch) reaffirms our capabilities to execute and deliver complex defence projects on time using design, indigenous technologies and construction skills.”

Larsen and Toubro, apart from building ships, is also undertaking construction of medium “refit and repairs” of ships for the Navy and the Coast Guard.

“Currently, INS Darshak, a Naval survey vessel, is undergoing refit at Kattupalli shipyard,” he said.

Till date, Larsen and Toubro had delivered six refit defence ships including the largest logistics tanker ship INS Jyoti from the shipyard.

The OPV launched today is 97 metres long, 15 metre wide and has 2,140T displacement with a range of 5,000 nautical miles and can reach speed of up to 26 knots.

The entire design and construction processes have undergone dual certification from American Bureau of Shipping and Indian Registrar of Shipping, the company said.

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Free Press Journal