NEW DELHI: In a major boost to indigenous defence sector, the ministry of defence, for the first time, entered into a contract with Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T), India’s largest engineering and construction firm for a Rs. 4500 crore order to supply artillery guns to the Indian Army.
Union cabinet in March end had already approved the proposal after being cleared from the ministry of defence.
According to a statement issued by the L&T, contract for 100 units of 155mm/52 calibre tracked self-propelled gun systems is the largest given to a private Indian company by the ministry.
The contract valued at about ₹ 4500 crore, is the largest order placed by MoD on an Indian private company. L&T, supported by its South Korean technology partner Hanwha Tech Win (HTW), had bid for this ‘Buy Global’ acquisition program of MoD in 2011.
Delivery of the 100 guns in 42 months with associated engineering support package and maintenance transfer of technology to support these Howitzer regiments throughout their life cycle.
‘’These guns will have over 50% indigenous content and will be delivered from L&T’s manufacturing facilities, including a new Armoured Systems Complex at Hazira in Gujarat,”L&T statement.
L&T later emerged as the sole qualified bidder out of four bidders for the program. The bidders went through a series of user trials and evaluations, based on the performance of the K9 VAJRA-T self-propelled Howitzer, the statement said.
The gun called K9 VAJRA-T is an enhanced version of Hanwha Tech Win’s K9 Thunder – a self-propelled Howitzer – and is customised and co-developed by L&T to suit the specific requirements of the Indian Army, including desert operations.
Defence minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday, held discussion with representatives of chambers of commerce and industry on the proposal Strategic partnership model under the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) with an aim to make India a hub for manufacturing weapon systems including ships, artillery guns and aircraft as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream agenda of ‘Make In India’ policy.