Chennai: L&T-built offshore patrol vessel ICGS Vigraha was commissioned into the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) by union defence minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday, showcasing its commitment to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ by completing delivery of all seven OPVS ahead of contractual schedule.
Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin, Army chief General MM Naravane, director general K Nataraja, director general Indian Coast Guard, JD Patil, whole time director (defence & smart technologies) and ember of the L&T Board and other dignitaries were present at the event.
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
This was achieved during the tough conditions of COVID-19 pandemic by following COVID-appropriate behaviour among all workmen at our shipyards.
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.
Jayant D Patil 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 ICGS Vigraha is about 98 metres long, 15 metres wide, has 3.6 metres draught, with 2140 tones displacement and a range of 5000 Nautical Miles. It can attain a sustained speed of up to 26 knots. The entire design and construction process has been certified by American Bureau of Shipping as well as Indian Registrar of Shipping and overseen by the Indian Coast Guard’s resident team at Kattupalli.
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.