L&T is building a series of seven in-house designed new-generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Indian Coast Guard against a 2015 contract stipulating deliveries between 2018 to 2021.
The first OPV, was delivered in April 2018, ahead of schedule. The second OPV launched in January 2018 is presently being readied for sea trials and is planned to be delivered ahead of schedule shortly, while system integration is in progress in 3rd and 4th OPVs, which are slated for launch later this year. Carrying the momentum further, on July 3, 2018, the keels of 5th and 6th OPVs were laid by Inspector General TP Sadanandan, TM, Deputy Director General (Material & Maintenance) Indian Coast Guard at L&T’s Defence Shipyard at Kattupalli near Chennai.
Commenting on the occasion, Vice Admiral B Kannan (Retd.), MD & CEO, L&T Shipbuilding, noted that the keel laying of 5th and 6th OPVs comes close on the heels of delivery and commissioning of first OPV of the series, ICGS Vikram in April, 2018 which despite being a First of Class vessel was completed ahead of contracted schedule. “The ship’s build period, which is reckoned from keel laying to delivery, was accomplished in an impressive timeframe of less than 24 months and being substantially bettered on follow-on ships,” he said.
L&T has had an impeccable record of delivery of Defence vessels since its inception. Just recently, two Interceptor Boats (IBs) designed and built by L&T were commissioned into the Indian Coast Guard, up to two years ahead of schedule. These ships are 39th and 40th vessels of the series of 54 interceptor boats being built by L&T. All these ships are presently deployed by the Indian Coast Guard across the Indian coastline to strengthen coastal security and augment patrolling to prevent infiltration, smuggling and illegal fishing.
Earlier this year, L&T delivered to the Indian Navy, India’s first indigenously designed and built Floating Dock which can dock warships / submarines of up to 8000 tonnes of displacement. The Floating Dock which is presently stationed at Andaman & Nicobar Islands, was formally inducted into the Naval Service in May 2018 at a ceremony at Port Blair. It offers a cost effective and versatile solution for concurrent dry-docking ships / submarines, has attracted attention of many prospective users.
L&T has also been entrusted by the Ministry of Defence of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to design and construct High Speed Patrol Vessels for the Vietnam Border Guard. The mandate is thus far the largest export order received by any Indian Shipyard.