Indian shipbuilder, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has delivered the second Vikram-class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), ICGS Vijaya (34), to the Indian Coast Guard on Aug. 30, 2018.
The 2,160-ton vessel was launched on Jan. 20 this year and is second in the series of seven OPVs being designed and constructed by L&T for the Coast Guard.
L&T is the first private Indian shipyard to construct and deliver OPVs for the Indian Coast Guard. The company received the order valued at Rs 1432 crore (~USD200 million) for design and construction of OPVs from the Indian Ministry of Defence in March 2015.The first vessel of the series ICGS Vikram (33) was handed over on April 11 this year, as a curtain raiser for DEFEXPO-2018.
The delivery of ICGS Vijaya comes close on the heels of the launch of OPV-3 on August 28 at the L&T Kattupalli shipyard. The work is simultaneously in progress on the OPVs 4, 5 & 6, that are at different stages of completion.
Vikram class OPVs are long-range surface ships, equipped to handle helicopter operations and capable of operating in Indian maritime zones including island territories. The role of the OPV is to conduct coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones, control & surveillance, anti-smuggling & anti-piracy operations with limited wartime roles.
The vessels are approximately 97m long, 15m wide and has 3.6m draught, 2,140 tonne displacement and a range of 5,000 NM. They can attain a sustained speed of up to 26 knots and are armed with a 30mm CRN 91 Naval Gun and two 12.7mm heavy machine guns (HMG) with fire control system (FCS).
The OPVs are built with Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) to enable special control capabilities generally integrated in larger warships like frigates and destroyers. The vessels are fitted with front propulsion pods for providing an ability of high manoeuvrability. The entire design and construction process has been certified by American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) as well as Indian Registrar of Shipping (IRS) and were overseen by the Indian Coast Guard’s resident team at Kattupalli.
Commenting on the occasion, Mr. SN Subrahmanyan, MD & CEO of Larsen & Toubro said: “Delivery of ICGS Vijaya ahead of contractual schedule reinforces our impeccable record of accomplishments in Defence Shipbuilding. Going forward, with commitment, huge infrastructure and talent pool in place, L&T aims to contribute significantly towards making Indian Coast Guard and Naval Fleet self-reliant.”
Mr. Jayant D Patil, Whole-time Director (Defence) and Member of L&T Board, said: “Delivery of ships continuously ahead of schedule has won the confidence of our esteemed customers. L&T has pioneered in developing indigenous defence technology for the Indian Armed Forces for the past three decades. With a wide range of defence solutions on offer, L&T is diligently working to realize ‘Make in India’ in defence through a series of success stories across defence domains.”
Vice Admiral B Kannan (Retd.), MD & CEO L&T Shipbuilding, said: “Early delivery of ICGS Vijaya is yet another testimony of L&T’s focused efforts on innovation, quality and speed of execution. Modern shipyard facilities & layout that enhances efficiency, in-house design, modular construction, high level of pre-outfitting, and innovative digital solutions have enabled L&T to achieve this new standard amongst Indian Shipyards. We are proud of attaining yet another benchmark in Indian shipbuilding by accomplishing better than design performance for both ICGS Vikram and ICGS Vijaya established in just two sea sorties.”
L&T has consistently set new benchmarks in timely construction of defence vessels against all orders from Ministry of Defence, whether for new build or for refit of warships. So far, 40 Interceptor Boats have been delivered out of the series of 54 Boats designed & built for the Coast Guard while the remaining 14 are also ready for delivery, with the program being about two years ahead of schedule. The Floating Dock FDN-2 for the Navy, designed and built for the first time in India, was delivered in March 2018 and is fully operational at Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
These achievements highlight L&T’s long-term commitment and ethos that significantly harmonize with the Govt’s ‘Make in India’ program as OPVs, FDN and IBs have all been designed completely in-house at L&T’s Warship Design Centre, a unique feat in itself.
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.
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 (SR/MR as well as Emergency Repairs) of 11 Indian Naval and Coast Guard ships, meeting user requirements.