L&T to invest ₹500 cr in missile-integrated facility

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on January 08, 2018

Another milestone Vikram, the Offshore Patrol Vessel built by Larsen & Toubro, gets ready to be lowered into the water at the Kattupalli shipyard in Chennai on Friday - Bijoy Ghosh

Shortlists three States for the joint venture with France’s MBDA

Larsen & Toubro has shortlisted Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat to set up its missile-integrated facility at an investment of around ₹500 crore, in a joint venture with French company MBDA, one of the world’s largest exporters of missile systems.

“The location will depend on which government gives the best incentive on aerospace and defence-related business,” said Jayant D Patil, Whole Time Director (Defence Business), L&T.

In February, L&T formed a joint venture with MBDA to develop missile systems, and supply anti-tank guided missiles for coastal batteries and high-speed target drones. “We believe in future all missiles will be built within the country,” Patil told newspersons after the launch of Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) 1 for the Indian Coast Guard.

Built at the L&T Shipbuilding in Kattupalli, north of Chennai, the OPV 1, named Vikram, is the first of seven such vessels to be delivered by L&T to the Coast Guard, with the total contract valued at ₹1,432 crore.

155-52 calibre gun

Patil said L&T has the capability to build a full-fledged battle tank, which will be built at the company’s new tank-building factory at Hazira in Gujarat. India’s first 155-52 calibre gun will be delivered from Hazira plant by end of this financial year, he said.

L&T also hopes to get orders for the Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle, for which a decision is likely to be announced by the government soon, he said.

Patil said a total of nearly ₹1,000 crore would be spent for setting up the missile integration facility and Hazira factory.

“We have so far invested around ₹8,000 crore on defence-related manufacturing facilities. We do not expect to invest more in this sector. We have done 10-15 times more investment than anybody else [except one or two shipyards],” he said.

Hypersonic wind tunnel

L&T is building a hypersonic wind tunnel at a cost of nearly ₹240 crore near Hyderabad for Defence Research and Development Organisation.

It had built a similar facility for ISRO in Thiruvananthapuram, costing nearly ₹140 crore, to study the effects of air flowing past a solid object like space vehicles, he said.

Patil said the focus will remain on ships for Indian Navy and Coast Guard, even as the government plans to procure 6-8 vessels every year with a significant chunk coming to the private sector.

The Ministry of Defence plans to procure items worth ₹16-lakh crore in the next 10 years. Of this, nearly 50 per cent is expected to come to the private sector.

“We expect business contribution by the defence sector to L&T’s standalone revenue to double to nearly 10 per cent by 2021,” he said without giving any value.

B Kannan, MD and CEO, L&T Shipbuilding, said the ship would undergo harbour and sea trials, and is expected to be handed over to the Coast Guard before March.

L&T Shipbuilding has an order book of nearly ₹1,700 crore that will keep its ship yards busy for the next three years. It also bagged an order from Vietnam to build 12 high-speed vessels, he said.

Published on October 27, 2017

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