Larsen & Toubro has launched the second Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) in a series of seven for the Indian Coast Guard. The launch was at the company’s Greenfield defence shipyard at Kattupalli, near Chennai.

The OPV was formally lowered into the waters of the Bay of Bengal at the hands of Smt Natarajan, wife of ADG K Natarajan, PTM, TM, COMCG (Western Seaboard) of the Indian Coast Guard. She named the OPV ‘CGS Vijaya’.

L&T is the first private Indian shipyard to construct and deliver OPVs for the Indian Coast Guard. L&T received the prestigious order valued at Rs 1432 Cr for design and construction of seven OPVs from the Ministry of Defence in March 2015.

The first OPV was launched in Oct 2017 and is presently undergoing trials. The launch of the second OPV, within three months from the launch of the first vessel and with overall completion of 85%, bears testimony to L&T’s proven project planning and execution capabilities.

These OPVs are long-range surface ships with helicopter operation capabilities, and their roles include coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones of India, control and surveillance, anti-smuggling / anti-piracy with limited wartime roles.

The OPVs are approximately 97m long, 15m wide, has 3.6m draught, 2140 T displacement with a range of 5000 NM and can attain sustained speeds of up to 26 knots. The entire design and construction processes have undergone dual certification from the American Bureau of Shipping and Indian Registrar of Shipping, and the project is being overseen by the Indian Coast Guard’s resident team at Kattupalli shipyard.

L&T has achieved significant milestones in recent months in defence shipbuilding. In Dec 2017, L&T completed the delivery of all 36 nos. Interceptor Boats to the Indian Coast Guard contracted in March 2010, well ahead of contractual delivery schedule. The in-house designed and constructed Floating Dock-2 for the Indian Navy has been dispatched to Port Blair this month for final trials and handing over. This is the first time a Floating Dock has been designed and constructed indigenously.

Commenting on the launch, Mr S N Subrahmanyan, CEO & Managing Director, Larsen & Toubro, said: “It is heartening to see another ahead of schedule launch of a major defence vessel at the Kattupalli shipyard. Delivery of all 36 Interceptor Boats under the first contract from the Indian Coast Guard ahead of schedule, timely dispatch of the Floating Dock-2 and timely completion of various refit orders from the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard speak volumes about L&T’s stellar delivery performance. This stems from our deep-rooted ethos of nation-building and world-class ship design and fabrication capabilities. Today, we are amongst very few Indian shipyards that have the requisite capacity and financial strength to deliver complex defence vessels on time.”

Mr J D Patil, Senior Executive Vice President & Whole-time Director (Defence), Larsen & Toubro said: “Today’s launch of OPV-2 signifies the launch of the ninth defence vessel by L&T in the current financial year. L&T is achieving new benchmarks of execution excellence with the construction of more defence vessels. With in-house capabilities to undertake ship design, in-house manufacturing of critical marine equipment, world-class shipyard infrastructure and robust financial strength, L&T is uniquely placed to fulfil the ambitious fleet expansion plans of the Indian Navy and Coast Guard”.

“L&T is also looking forward to participate in ‘Medium Refit and Life Extension Certification’ of EKM submarines of the Indian Navy. We will be deploying our rich expertise in the field of design engineering and construction of submarines for this project.” Mr Patil added.

“It is indeed a remarkable achievement to surpass the construction timelines in a multi-project execution scenario,” said Vice Admiral B. Kannan (Retd.), MD & CEO, L&T Shipbuilding. “Large-scale deployment of digital technologies in most shipyard operations including design, planning, production, project management and QA/QC has immensely helped in prioritising the tasks and optimal deployment of resources. Our rich pool of human resources is constantly innovating to enhance the productivity and has cut down cycle time,” he concluded.

In addition, L&T is also progressing well on the Medium Refit (MR) of a Naval survey vessel at the Kattupalli shipyard. L&T undertakes repairs and refits of Naval and Coast Guard ships regularly and has till date completed repair/refit of four Naval ships and two Coast Guard ships.