|By Jai Kumar Verma||Published: July 2017|
Chennai. Larsen & Toubro has launched a Floating Dock for the Indian Navy to enhance its capabilities in repairing ships and submarines in the Andaman & Nicobar islands. The Dock, designated FDN-2, has been built at the company’s Kattupalli facility near here.
L&T, as the company is generally known, was mandated by the Ministry of Defence in May 2015 to build the Dock and deliver it to Port Blair. The Rs 468 crore Dock will be installed in India’s eastern island territory shortly after the required tests and trials. It is the first indigenously built floating Dock.
L&T, one of India’s oldest and the best engineering companies, is involved in several defence projects, including nuclear submarines. The occasion to launch the Dock was also an occasion to mark the company’s promise for on-time delivery, said M.r Jayant Patil, Senior Executive Vice President.
The Dock will handle ships and submarines of up to 8000 tonnes. Besides Indian naval ships, the floating facility will also be able to service civil vessels, Indian or foreign. The facility will greatly reduce the turnaround time in repairing vessels and making them available to the Navy as soon as possible.
As per Indian traditions of launching vessels by a lady, the Dock was launched by Mrs. Anjali Deshpande, wife of Vice Admiral DM Deshpande, Controller of Warship Production & Acquisition of the Indian Navy.
Speaking on the occasion, Vice Admiral Deshpande commended L&T for its efforts in the design and construction of FDN-2. He mentioned that launching of the indigenously built Floating Dock was a testimony to the capabilities available in India for realizing the Make in India vision.
The Admiral indicated that the Navy had its perspective plans drawn up to 2027, and that the private sector was set to play a vital role in the Indian Navy’s futuristic development. He also praised L&T for indigenously developing several state of the art technologies.
L&T also has its operations in some 30 countries.
Mr. Patil, who is also the company’s whole time Director (designate) for defence, 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, as a sequel to having already delivered 32 interceptor boats to Indian Coast Guard. This has been made possible by the 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.”
He added that “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 endeavors of National capability building.”
Vice Admiral B Kannan (Retd), MD & CEO of L&T Shipbuilding, stated that as it was the first of class facility, the main challenge “pertained to managing design and production activities concurrently.”
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 is 185m long and 40m wide, and is designed for docking Indian naval ships and submarines of up to 8000 tonne displacement with draughts of up to 7 meter, during both day and night. Simultaneous docking of multiple ships and off-center docking options are also feasible.
Significantly, 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 conforms to internationally accepted norms, incorporates a fully automated ballast control system, inducting state-of-the-art technology in its equipment. The dock covers provided with the FDN-2 facilitate repair & refit activities in inclement weather conditions.
L&T has also been mandated by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) to design and build seven Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). Two of these OPVs are to be launched by March next year. ICG also has another order for 54 Interceptor Boats out of which 18 are ready for delivery.
L&T also undertakes repairs and refits of Naval and Coast Guard ships regularly. It has already delivered six refitted (modernized) ships (including the largest Logistics Tanker INS Jyoti) from its shipyard at Kattupalli, which now is focusing only on Defence orders.
The Kattupalli yard is so building 12 vessels for the Vietnamese Border Guard.
Larsen & Toubro is an Indian multinational engaged in technology, engineering, construction, manufacturing and financial services with USD 17 billion in revenue. It operates in over 30 countries worldwide.