Gandhinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Armoured Systems Complex (ASC), developed by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) at Hazira near Surat in Gujarat. This is the country’s first private facility where the K9 Vajra self-propelled Howitzer guns will be manufactured.
“Had the privilege of inaugurating the Larsen and Toubro Armoured Systems Complex in Hazira, Gujarat. Boosting ‘Make in India’ in the defence sector is our endeavour. I am glad that the private sector too is supporting this pursuit and making a valuable contribution," Modi said in a tweet.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was also present on the occasion.
The ASC is a state-of-the-art facility to manufacture and integrate advanced armoured platforms such as self-propelled artillery Howitzers, future infantry combat vehicles (FICV), future ready combat vehicles (FRCV) or future main battle tanks, L&T said in a media statement today.
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 track for acceptance and qualification of armoured vehicles.
The complex is currently executing the prestigious ‘K9 Vajra-T’ 155mm/52 calibre tracked, self-propelled howitzer guns programme, the largest contract awarded to a private company by the ministry of defence under the Make in India initiative through global competitive bidding, it said.
The ASC brings manufacturing of armoured systems to Gujarat in accordance with 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 a range of platform-specific equipment and subsystems, and special alloy forgings for defence applications at Hazira. It also makes critical composite subsystems for India’s space launch vehicles and subsystems for the BrahMos and Akash missiles at the Advanced Composites Facility, Ranoli, Vadodara.
“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 defence sectors. The world-class facility has been at the forefront of technology to meet various infrastructure, industrial and defence needs of the nation. The complex at Hazira adds another feather in the cap of L&T’s global manufacturing ecosystem and serves to build India’s defence requirements," A M Naik, Group Chairman of L&T, said in a media statement.
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 Howitzer regiments throughout their life cycle. Having delivered the 10 systems ahead of schedule, the ASC will deliver the balance 90 within next 22 months.