Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has introduced the launch of a Floating Dock (FDN-2), which was engineered and produced for the Indian Navy at the company’s greenfield shipyard at Kattupalli, near Chennai.

The launch marks a significant achievement for L&T’s shipbuilding arm in the design, construction and project management of defence vessels.

The Floating Dock was formally lowered into the waters of the Bay of Bengal by Mrs Anjali Deshpande, in the presence of her spouse Vice Admiral Deshpande, Controller Warship Production and Acquisition of the Indian Navy, Mr J D Patil, Senior Executive Vice President and whole-time Director (Designate) – Defence, Larsen and Toubro, Vice Admiral B Kannan (Retd), MD and CEO L&T Shipbuilding, and other dignitaries.

L&T was mandated by the Ministry of Defence in May 2015 to design and build the FDN-2 for an order value of Rs. 468 Crores.

The Floating Dock will be delivered at Port Blair well within contracted schedule, reaffirming L&T’s capabilities to execute and deliver Defence projects on time using Indian design, indigenous technologies and construction skills.

On completion of its launch at Kattupalli, FDN-2 would be put through a series of harbour trials before delivery to the navy. Once operationalised, it would enhance the technical repair infrastructure of the Navy for ships based at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, as well as for visiting Naval ships.

Commenting on the launch, Mr S N Subrahmanyan, Managing Director (Designate) and President, Larsen & Toubro, said: “While winning our first mandate from the Indian Navy was satisfying, I am particularly delighted that we have also been able to execute and deliver the FDN-2 well within schedule.”

“We are pleased to have delivered on the faith reposed in us by the Indian Navy for our in-house capabilities of design and construction of naval platforms, meeting stringent standards and specifications and at the same time achieving them with exemplary Program Management practices well-within contracted timelines,” Mr Subrahmanyan added.

Mr Jayant Patil said: “It is an affirmation of the in-house capabilities and track record of L&T that we are launching the FDN-2 for the Indian Navy ahead of schedule today, as a sequel to having already delivered 32 interceptor boats to Indian Coast Guard.

“This has been made possible by dedication and commitment of the team at L&T, our relationship of trust with Indian Navy across the value chain for naval platforms and the forward-looking policies pursued by the government to facilitate procurement of indigenous equipment for our armed forces.”

“L&T has invested in building state-of-the-art facilities at Kattupalli, and we look forward to continued service to the Indian Navy in endeavours of national capability building,” Mr Patil added.

The Floating Dock, which is the first naval shipbuilding project for L&T, is 185m long and 40m wide, and is designed for docking Indian Naval ships and submarines of up to 8000t displacement with draughts of up to 7m, during both day and night.

Simultaneous docking of multiple ships and off-centre docking options are also feasible. The entire design and construction process has been progressively certified by Lloyds Register of Shipping Society and overseen by the Navy’s resident team at Kattupalli.

The dock, which conforms to internationally accepted norms, incorporates a fully automated ballast control system, inducting state-of-the-art technology in its equipment.

“The main challenge faced on this project, as it would characteristically be in any first ship of a class, pertained to managing design and production activities concurrently,” elaborated Vice Admiral B Kannan. “We have achieved a high level on this through digital shipbuilding technologies, as well as through a focused approach of ‘getting it right first time’ duly reinforced by the rich work ethics of L&T.”

The Floating Dock has been designed as a versatile dock that can be installed either along a jetty or moored in calm waters enabling round-the-year operation. It is provided with a hauling-in system to handle a ship’s docking and undocking operations. It can also support ships berthed along its side and meet their logistics requirements.

L&T has also been mandated by the Coast Guard to design and build seven Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). Two of these OPVs are to be launched in the second half of this financial year, on schedule.

In addition, L&T is undertaking repairs and refits of naval and Coast Guard ships regularly and delivered six refit ships (including the largest Logistics Tanker ship INS Jyoti) from its shipyard at Kattupalli, which is now focusing on defence orders only.