Indian Firm Behind Pinaka & LCA Tejas Secured Massive Defense Contracts From Govt. For Fiscal 2024

Indian conglomerate behind the ‘Architectural Marvel’ Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Pinaka Artillery, LCA Tejas, BrahMos, etc, recently announced that it secured billion-dollar defense contracts for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024.

L&T (Larsen & Toubro) has carved a niche in both domains, from crafting iconic structures to contributing to the defense sector.

From Architectural Marvels To Defense Triumphs

The Ram Mandir (Temple of Lord Rama) in Ayodhya stands tall as a symbol of meticulous craftsmanship, spanning a vast 70-acre complex. Designed and constructed by L&T, this three-storeyed temple showcases unparalleled engineering, utilizing innovative techniques to ensure longevity without relying on traditional metals like iron or steel.

Beyond Ayodhya, L&T’s portfolio boasts other architectural marvels, such as the Sardar Patel statue in Gujarat, Atal Setu in Mumbai, and India’s inaugural coastal road featuring an underground tunnel in Mumbai.

This private sector player’s prominence extends in the Indian defense contracts as well, encompassing upgraded fighter jet engines, supersonic cruise missiles, close-in weapon systems, high-power radars, and ship-borne Brahmos systems.

Hi-Tech Manufacturing Segment

The company recently renamed its Defence Engineering business as L&T Precision Engineering & Systems, effective April 01, 2024. This and the Company’s Heavy Engineering business constitute the Hi-Tech Manufacturing segment.

On May 9, 2024, the company disclosed its FY 23-24 financial results. While specific figures for the Defense Engineering division (L&T Precision Engineering & Systems) were not disclosed, the company did provide insights into the Hi-Tech Manufacturing Segment’s performance.

The company reported robust performance in the Hi-Tech Manufacturing Segment, with an order book totaling $3.9B (₹31,975 crores), with export orders comprising 8% as of March 31, 2024. Customer revenues surged by an impressive 25% year-on-year, reaching $1B (₹8,196 crore), as per L&T’s financial report.

L&T’s Significant Contracts

During the fiscal year 2023-24, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) undertook several notable contracts with the Ministry of Defence. This included fulfilling an order for the Pinaka Artillery Launch system, developed by L&T as part of the Pinaka development program by the DRDO.

PINAKA missile system India Armenia
Enhanced PINAKA rocket, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, in Odisha on November 04, 2020.

In March 2024, L&T secured a major contract with the Indian defense ministry for the acquisition of Brahmos missiles to fulfill the combat and training needs of the Indian Navy, valued at $2.4B (₹19,518 crores)

Simultaneously, L&T inked another deal with the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the provision of High Power Radars (HPR), totaling $0.7B (₹5,700.13 crores). Moreover, the company finalized an agreement for supplying domestically developed Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS) to the Air Force, valued at $0.9B (₹7,668.82 crores)

Additionally, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) finalized a contract with L&T to procure three cadetships totaling $0.3B (₹3,100 crores). Cadetships are sophisticated vessels equipped with a variety of systems, as well as amenities such as classrooms and accommodations.

Before these agreements, in February 2023, the Defence Ministry had signed a contract worth $0.3BB (₹2,585 crores) with L&T to manufacture 41 indigenous modular bridges for the Indian Army’s Corps of Engineers. These 46-meter assault bridges are designed for rapid deployment over various obstacles like canals and ditches.

L&T’s Diverse Defense Portfolio 

Since the mid-80s, L&T has been a proactive participant in the Defence sector, establishing its presence well before private industry participation became widespread.

Participating actively in collaborative efforts with DRDO and contributing significantly to naval indigenization initiatives, L&T Defense has developed a diverse portfolio spanning products, systems, platforms, and solutions in three key segments: Land, Naval, and Aerospace.

NAVAL: This comprehensive portfolio encompasses naval components like submarines, underwater platforms, and warships. L&T has delivered over 67 vessels to the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, and allied nations. Notably, the company, in collaboration with Navantia (Spain), submitted a joint bid for the P75 India’s submarine program.

LAND: In the land segment, L&T has been instrumental in designing and developing the Pinaka Rocket Launcher systems program since 2008, marking it as a flagship initiative for the company. It has a separate Transport Launch Canister (TLC) facility for BRAHMOS missiles at Ranoli, near Vadodara.

L&T has acquired the expertise to manufacture armored platforms and has successfully delivered self-propelled howitzers – K9 Vajra, produced at the company’s Armored Systems Complex in Hazira. These howitzers have been officially commissioned into the Indian Army.

AEROSPACE:  L&T has developed the capabilities to manufacture air defense guns and air defense systems like counter-drone and high-power radar systems. Also, L&T produces wings and avionics for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA Tejas) and other aircraft.

Additionally, the company is involved in manufacturing space hardware and contributes to ISRO’s PSLV program by supplying various space hardware components.

File Image: LCA Tejas

L&T has also developed engineering and weapon delivery solutions featuring fire control solutions, radar systems, sensors, and sub-systems for missile and space launch vehicles. The company’s contribution extends to critical defense components such as the Integrated Platform Management System, Infantry Combat Vehicle, Tactical & Assault Army Bridging Systems, Heavy Airdrop Systems, Helo suite for Naval & Coast Guard Systems, Sonar Domes, and Sonar Handling Equipment, etc.

The organization consistently underscores, with intentional clarity in every public discourse, that it refrains from the production of explosives or ammunition, including cluster munitions, antipersonnel landmines, nuclear weapons, or components for such munitions. Moreover, the company does not customize delivery systems for these munitions.

L&T’s Defense Significance

When discussing L&T’s defense segment today, it’s important to note that, while it may be considered a small business within the vast scale of the L&T group, approx  $2.8B (₹2.21 lakh crores) revenue company, a 3- 5% share still represents a significant defense business volume.

From the domestic defense market perspective, L&T stands among the largest private-sector players in this segment.

L&T’s journey from crafting architectural marvels to securing billion-dollar defense contracts exemplifies its commitment to excellence and innovation across diverse sectors.

  • Penned By: Shubhangi Palve
  • Contact the author at shubhapalve(at)gmail(dot)com.