Indian shipbuilder, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has launched a project to build 12 new high-speed patrol vessel for the Vietnam Border Guard during a ceremony at its facility near Chennai, India on August 14.
The ceremony was attended by Lieut. Gen. Hoang Dang Nhieu, Deputy Commander of the Vietnam Border Guard Force, and Rear Admiral K.J. Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding of the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Naval Area-Indian Navy.
Lieut. Gen. Nhieu, who led a Vietnamese delegation to the event, said that the project is the first specific project in the defence partnership between the two countries and plays an important role in fostering bilateral defence ties.
The 12 patrol vessels, worth around USD 100 million, are being built under a contract signed between the Vietnam Border Guard and Larsen & Toubro last year. The funding for the project will be from India’s $100-million line of credit extended to Vietnam during a trip to India in October 2014 by the then Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
The patrol vessels, made with aluminum alloy, will be 35 meters long and are able to reach a maximum speed of 35 knots. They will be equipped with state-of-the-art navigation and surveillance equipment, and self-defence capabilities.
The complete design of the vessels were undertaken at L&T’s dedicated Warship Design Centre. The first five of these vessels are being built at Kattupalli Shipyard, operated by L&T’s Shipbuilding division, near Chennai and the remaining will be built at the Hong Ha shipyard in Vietnam with support from the Indian firm.
The high speed patrol ships are designed to help the Vietnam Border Guard supervise and safeguard sea sovereignty, detect illegal activities such as smuggling and perform search and rescue missions.
So far, L&T has handed over 46 aluminum alloy ships to the Indian Coast Guard.