Hazira, January 20, 2018: India’s first Armoured Systems Complex (ASC) in the private sector, developed by Larsen & Toubro, India’s leading technology, engineering, construction, manufacturing, defense, and services conglomerate, was dedicated to the nation by Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, today. Honorable Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was also present on this occasion.
The ASC is a state-of-the-art facility to manufacture and integrate advanced armored platforms such as Self-Propelled Artillery Howitzers, Future Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICV), Future Ready Combat Vehicles (FRCV) or Future Main Battle Tanks.
The Complex is currently executing the prestigious ‘K9 Vajra-T’ 155mm/52 caliber Tracked, Self-Propelled Howitzer Guns program – the largest contract awarded to a private company by the Ministry of Defence, Government of India under the Make in India initiative through global competitive bidding.
Spread over 40 acres, within L&T’s sprawling 755-acre Hazira Manufacturing Complex, the ASC comprises state-of-the-art facility with high-end machinery and automation aids, feeder shops, and a full-fledged mobility Test Tracks for acceptance and qualification of armored vehicles.
The L&T Hazira Complex is amongst the largest and most contemporary manufacturing facilities, among few in the world and produces extra-large offshore modules, Reactor End shields and Steam Generators for Nuclear Power plants, high-end equipment for the Hydrocarbon, Thermal Power and Defence segments as also ultra-clean Special Steels and Heavy Forgings.
The ASC brings manufacturing of Armoured systems to Gujarat in accordance with the thrust areas articulated in the State’s new Aerospace and Defence Policy. L&T Defence has a significant presence in the state and manufactures Submarine Hulls and range of platform-specific equipment and Subsystems, special alloys forgings for Defence applications at Hazira. It also makes critical composite subsystems for India’s Space Launch Vehicles and subsystems for BrahMos and Akash Missiles at the Advanced Composites Facility, Ranoli, Vadodara.
On this momentous occasion, Mr. A M Naik, Group Chairman L&T said, “L&T’s Hazira Manufacturing Complex was envisaged in the 1980s as the manufacturing hub for heavy equipment manufacturing projects catering to nuclear power, oil, and gas, process plants and defense sectors. The world-class facility has been at the forefront of technology to meet various infrastructure, industrial and defense needs of the nation. The Armoured Systems Complex at Hazira adds another feather in the cap of L&T’s global manufacturing ecosystem and serves to build India’s Defence requirements.”
Mr. S N Subrahmanyan, CEO, and MD, L&T said, “L&T is the leading private sector defense company and has been meeting needs of the Indian defense industry for past three decades. It is our endeavor to deliver advanced armored platforms to suit requirements of the Indian Army and this facility will further the company’s vision to be the leader across Defence segments where our presence exist. L&T has been supplying critical high technology equipment to the Indian Navy from Hazira and the ASC will now, in addition, address the needs of the Indian Army and friendly Nations to whom Govt of India promotes Defence Manufacturing Partnership.”
Mr. J D Patil, Senior EVP (Defence) and Member of the Board, L&T said, “L&T’s Armoured Systems Complex has already begun rolling out the prestigious ‘K-9 Vajra-T’ Howitzers ahead of schedule to the Indian Army. The Program embodies the spirit of the Government’s “Make in India” initiative by large scale indigenous production of various equipment and systems for cost-efficient through life support, through in-house development as well as the transfer of technology, and a judicious mix of L&T’s in-house manufacturing facilities as well as tiered supply chain. L&T Defence has played a catalyst’s role in developing the ecosystem of partners mainly from the MSME sector and by recruiting and training a large number of apprentices inducted from local institutes. The test track at ASC is an asset available for use by other Defence Industries.”
Mr. Patil added that with the dedication of the ASC at the hands of Hon Prime Minister of India, it becomes the 10th Manufacturing unit of L&T Defence and 7th new manufacturing complex created over the past decade and dedicated to Defence Production. L&T has invested in this crucial high-tech sector as our endeavor to build strong and secure India and further Make in India.
The ‘K9 Vajra-T’ Howitzer Program involves delivery of 100 systems in 42 months with an associated Engineering Support Package (ESP) covering spares, documentation and training and Maintenance Transfer of Technology (MToT) to the Army Base Workshop to support the Howitzer regiments throughout their life cycle. Having delivered the 10 systems ahead of schedule, the ASC will deliver the balance 90 within the next 22 months.
The ‘K9 Vajra-T’ systems are being delivered with 50% indigenous content (by value) which includes 75% indigenous work packages at the Program level and involves local production of over 13,000 components per gun system through a supply chain of about 400 local Tier 1 manufacturer with over 100 from the MSME segment. L&T has put in sustained efforts and innovation in indigenizing‘ K9 Vajra-T’, right from a prototype built for user evaluation trials by indigenously developing fourteen critical systems, including the Fire Control System, Direct Fire System, and the Ammunition Handling System. L&T also developed the Auxiliary Power Packs, Air-conditioning Systems, Fire Fighting Systems, and NBC Protection Systems for phase 1 production units itself.
L&T entered into Transfer of Technology agreement with South Korean Hanwha including training a team of engineers and integration specialists at Hanwha facilities. Subsequently, this trained team made structured efforts towards skill development in India by training suppliers’ as well as its own extended teams.
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