Larsen & Toubro, one of the greatest engineering, infrastructure and manufacturing conglomerates of the country made another significant flagship contribution in the Defence sector of India. On January 19, 2019, our Honorable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the Armoured Systems Complex of Larsen & Toubro at Hazira, Gujarat. This is the first private armoured vehicle facility of the country and will be dedicated for the testing of K9 Vajra self-propelled Howitzer tanks.
“I congratulate the entire team of Larsen & Toubro for building the state-of-the-art K-9 Vajra Self Propelled Howitzer. This is a significant contribution towards India’s defense sector and protecting the country,” Modi tweeted during the grand inauguration ceremony of the defense facility at Hazira.
Modi also expressed, “Had the privilege of inaugurating the Larsen and Toubro Armored Systems Complex in Hazira, Gujarat. Boosting ‘Make in India’ in the defense sector is our endeavor. I am glad that the private sector too is supporting this pursuit and making a valuable contribution.” – @narendramodi (Twitter: January 19, 2019)
Larsen & Toubro had entered into a Rs. 4500-crore contract with Ministry of Defense, Government of India of supplying 100 units of K9 Vajra-T 155 mm/52 caliber tracked self-propelled gun systems to the Indian Army under the Centre’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Larsen & Toubro in partnership with South Korean technology partner Hanwha Tech Win (HTW), had bid for this ‘Buy Global’ acquisition programme of the Defense Ministry, Government of India in 2011. The company emerged as sole qualified bidder after beating three other eligible organizations on clearing all stages of user trials and evaluation processes focussd on the performance and features of the K9 VAJRA-T self-propelled Howitzer.
This is the largest contract handed over to any private organization ever in the history of nation after independence by the Ministry of Defense, Government of India. Out of 100 units to be delivered by Larsen & Toubro, as per the contract, 10 units have been delivered on September 2018 to the Ministry of Defense, Government of India. Initiative of setting up this Armored Systems Complex at Hazira is one of the reasons to boost the development and testing purpose of K9 Vajra self-propelled Howitzers.
This trendsetting public-private partnership of greatest value and responsibility ever in the history of Independent India has benefits and milestone features like –
The Armored Systems Complex facility in Hazira which is approximately 30km from Surat is developed to manufacture and integrate advanced armored platforms. The facility unit will be focused towards the development and manufacturing of units such as self-propelled artillery Howitzers, future infantry combat vehicles, future-ready combat vehicles and future main battle tanks.
The entire Hazira Manufacturing Complex is spread over 755-acre area.
Armored Systems Complex occupies 40 acre of the entire manufacturing complex area.
The ASC facility at Hazira has the capacity of testing the tanks by making them run for 100 kilometers in different simulated terrains.
L&T developed the ASC facility at Hazira to make battle tank production in India possible at full-fledged level with least dependency on external firms and organizations and foreign nations.
In the total process of manufacturing the K9 Vajra self-propelled Howitzer, 400 SMEs are involved in the process of development of 13000 parts indigenously.
The K9 Vajra self-propelled Howitzer has the ability to handle Indian and all standards NATO ammunition and is of excellent conform-ability to any field artillery unit.
The facility and project has the potential to reduce the life-cycle cost of the Army, as no more, the nation has to rely upon foreign nations for spare parts or other peripherals during the 40-years life cycle of K9 Vajra self propelled Howitzer.
For the initial stages of development of the battle machine, L&T has collaborated with the largest defence company of South Korea, named Hanwha Tech Win (HTW), and had signed a transfer of technology contract with the same.
Speaking of the features of the K9 Vajra-T 155 mm/52 caliber tracked self-propelled gun systems; Mr. J. D. Patil (Senior Executive Vice President, L&T Defense and Aerospace) revealed its indifferent and robust superiority over other makes of same category. Mr. Patil said, “The gun weighs 50 tonnes and can fire 47kg bombs at a 43-kilometre distance target. It can turn around at zero-radius. Fire technology system and major electronics and enhancements are indigenous.”
Along with our Honorable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, other eminent and notable personalities present at the grand inauguration ceremony were Nirmala Sitharaman – Defense Minister (Government of India), Wang Jung Hong – Minister of Defense Acquisition (Republic of Korea) and L&T Group Chairman A M Naik.
This is a greatest exemplary and strategic achievement of “Make In India” initiative and casts a significant spell on the encouragement and boost to private industries and organizations of India. The nation took another step of advancement towards self-sufficiency and growth in the Defense sector by being self-reliant and focused towards national security.