New Delhi, Aug 28
L&T-built Offshore Patrol Vessel ICGS Vigraha was commissioned into the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) by Shri Rajnath Singh, Hon’ble Defence Minister of India at Chennai today, showcasing its commitment to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ by completing delivery of all seven OPVS ahead of contractual schedule.
ICGS Vigraha is the last vessel in the series of seven Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) built by L&T under a MoD contract signed in 2015. Seven OPVs programme bestowed many laurels to the Indian Shipbuilding Industry, including:
·Delivery of all 7 OPVs ahead of contractual delivery schedule, including ‘First of Class’ OPV ‘ICGS Vikram’
·For the first time, entire design and construction of the OPV class of ships by an Indian private sector shipyard
·Achieving the build period of mere 19.5 months, clearing all Sea Acceptance Trials in a single sea sortie for 5th OPV ‘ICGS Varad’
·Extensive use of Shipbuilding 4.0 tools with in-house developed IT systems for real time data capturing, analysis & decision making for effective project monitoring and control
Terming it an important step towards achieving ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’, the Raksha Mantri said the ship is a perfect example of a successful partnership between public and private sectors to realise the dream of self-reliant India as envisioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and also a reflection of the significant improvement in India’s coastal defense capability. Saying that public-private partnership is the way forward to achieving ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, he highlighted that for the first time in the history of Indian defence, contracts for not one or two, but seven vessels have been signed with a private sector company. And more importantly, within seven years of signing this agreement in 2015, not only launch but also the commissioning of all these seven vessels has been completed today.
On the changing global security environment, Shri Rajnath Singh stated that countries around the world are strengthening their military power and the Government, through various reforms, is ensuring that India is not left behind. “We are leaving no stone unturned to develop a strong & powerful military and a self-reliant defence industry,” he stressed. He listed out some of the reforms including simplification of the process of licensing in the defence sector, accelerating the AoN and RFP processes, emphasizing on exports, encouraging private sectors, establishing defence corridors, promulgation of the new Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020.
Commenting on the delivery, Mr. S.N. Subrahmanyan, CEO & MD, Larsen & Toubro, said: “Ahead of schedule delivery of all 07 OPVs is a historic milestone in the journey of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in defence. This feat bears greater significance amidst unprecedented business interruptions caused by COVID-19.”
“L&T has invested heavily and ensured timely readiness of world-class production facilities, covering wide range of India’s needs. Going forward, we expect these facilities to contribute significantly to ‘Make in India’ initiative. With multiple naval shipbuilding programmes on the anvil, L&T is also uniquely positioned to equip the Indian Navy and Coast Guard fleets with modern ships in shortest possible time,” he added.
OPVs are long-range surface ships, capable of operation in maritime zones of India, including island territories with helicopter operation capabilities. Their roles include coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones of India, control and surveillance, anti-smuggling and anti-piracy operations with limited wartime roles.
Mr. Jayant D Patil, Whole Time Director (Defence & Smart Technologies) and Member of L&T Board, said: “It is heartening to witness the commissioning of ICGS Vigraha, which marks completion of a yet another highly successful naval programme that epitomizes the spirit of Make-in-India. L&T having set numerous records during the execution of 07 OPVs programme, are testimony to our core strengths of innovation, adaptability, commitment and hard work.”
“With unrivalled execution track record, state of the art infrastructure benchmarked to the global best, and robust financial strength, L&T is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in accomplishing ‘Make in India’ in defence in true sense. We shall continue to focus on innovation, quality, speed of execution and extensive use of Shipbuilding 4.0 technologies towards achieving excellence in defence shipbuilding, he further added.”
The 98 meters OPV has been designed and built indigenously by L&T and is fitted with advanced technology Radars, Navigation and Communication Equipment, Sensor and Machinery capable of operating in tropical sea conditions. The vessel is armed with a 40/60 Bofors gun and fitted with two 12.7 mm Stabilised Remote Control Gun (SRCG) with Fire Control System. The ship is also equipped with Integrated Bridge System (IBS), Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS), Automated Power Management System (APMS) and High-Power External Firefighting (EFF) system. The ship is designed to carry one Twin Engine Helicopter and four high speed boats for Boarding Operation, Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement and Maritime Patrol. The ship is also capable of carrying limited pollution response equipment to contain oil spill at sea. The ship displaces approx. 2200 tons (GRT) and is propelled by two 9100 KW diesel engines to attain a maximum speed of 26 knots with endurance of 5000 nm at economical speed.
The ship, on joining the Coast Guard Eastern fleet, will be deployed extensively for EEZ surveillance and other duties as enshrined in the Coast Guard Charter, to safeguard the maritime interests of India. The Indian Coast Guard with this ship joining the fleet, will have 157 Ships and 66 Aircraft in its inventory.
Since foraying into defence shipbuilding in Mar 2010, L&T has epitomized the dynamism, and prowess of private shipyard with in-house design, construction and delivery of 66 nos. defence vessels. L&T is also richly contributing to the upkeep of Indian Naval and Coast Guard fleets by routinely undertaking their repairs/refits and upgrades, including emergency repairs and inspections, with exemplary delivery performance at India’s most modern defence shipyard at Kattupalli, near Chennai.
Shri M K Stalin, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, General MM Naravane, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC, Chief of the Army Staff, Director General K Natarajan, PVSM, PTM, TM, Director General Indian Coast Guard, Mr JD Patil, Whole Time Director (Defence & Smart Technologies) and Member of the L&T Board and other dignitaries were present at the event.