The OPV ‘Vikram’ was built at L&T’s Kattupalli Shipyard, located 45 km from the city. This is the first of the seven vessels for which the Rs 1,432 crore contract had been awarded by the Ministry of Defence in March 2015. As per the contract, the first vessel was slated to be delivered in March 2018.
Launched by Additional Director General, Coast Guard, VSR Murthy at Kattupalli Shipyard in the presence of Larsen and Toubro Board Member and whole time director (Defence Business) D Patil, Larsen and Toubro Ship Building Managing Director and CEO, B Kannan, the ship is fitted with one 30 mm automatic gun and two 12.7 mm guns with fire control systems. OPV ‘Vikram’ also has an integral twin-engine helicopter, which would enhance its operational, surveillance, search and rescue capabilities.
The vessel is 98-metre long with a gross 2,100 tonnes and its endurance is 5,000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 12-14 knots. Its maximum speed is 26 knots. One of the largest engineering conglomerates L&T would also set up a battle tank plant at Hazira in Gujarat, besides missile systems plant in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat involving an outlay of Rs 500 crore.
Talking to reporters, Patil said the missile systems plant would be set up in a JV with French company MBDA. He said the company was looking at these three states for the missile systems plant and their location would depend on the incentives to be provided by the state governments.