India’s Larsen & Toubro shipyard has launched a project to build 12 high-speed vessels for the Vietnam Border Guard, funded by the Indian government’s credit package.
The launch ceremony on August 14 drew Rear Admiral KJ Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding of the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Naval Area and Deputy Commander of the Vietnam Border Guard Force Lieut. Gen. Hoang Dang Nhieu, who led a Vietnamese delegation to the event.
Addressing the ceremony, Lieut. Gen. Nhieu said Vietnamese and Indian leaders are very attentive to pushing co-operation in the technology and engineering sectors, including ship building.
The project, the first practical project in the defence partnership between the two countries, will play an important role in fostering bilateral defence ties, he said, expressing his hope it will be a great success.
B Kannan, CEO of Larsen & Toubro Shipbuilding, which is based in the city of Chennai in southern India’s Tamil Nadu State, said the project is of strategic significance for both Vietnam and India.
He pledged the company will complete the project as scheduled with the highest quality. So far, Larsen & Toubro has handed over 46 aluminium alloy ships to the Indian coast guard force, he noted.
The high-speed patrol ships are designed to help coast guard forces supervise and safeguard the nation’s marine sovereignty, detect illegal activities such as smuggling and perform search and rescue missions.
The aluminium alloy ships will be about 35m in length with top speeds of 35 nautical miles per hour. They will be equipped with modern guiding, monitoring and defence systems.
Five of the 13 ships, all designed by the Larsen & Toubro, will be built at the company’s Kattupalli shipyard, while the rest will be constructed at Vietnam’s Hong Ha shipyard with support from the Indian firm.