L&T eyeing defence orders worth up to $1.4 billion

Larsen & Toubro is competing for defence contracts worth up to Rs 8,000 crore that will be awarded in the next few months, M V Kotwal, president of the company's heavy engineering department, said on Monday.

It has bid for four contracts from the Indian Coast Guard to supply training ships and support vehicles, worth about Rs 4,000 crore in total. The orders are likely to be finalised in the next six months, Kotwal said.

Larsen & Toubro also plans to bid for two landing platform docks, worth Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 2,000 crore each, to be awarded by the Indian government. The government is planning to offer contracts to build four multipurpose landing platform docks, two of which will be given to private-sector firms. A request for proposals for the docks will be finalised in the next few months, Kotwal said.

To foster the growth of Indian defence companies, the government has rolled out a new procurement programme seen as favouring domestic firms in a field that has been dominated by state companies and foreign firms, and is looking to partially remove restrictions on foreign companies investing in Indian defence-sector firms.

Larsen & Toubro has already won a Coast Guard contract worth more than Rs 1,600 crore to supply 54 speed boats, at a cost of Rs 30-34 crore each.

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