Mumbai– Reliance Defence has bagged a Rs 920-crore contract for building 14 fast patrol vessels for the Indian Coast Guard to primarily assist in anti-smuggling and anti-terrorism activities, sources said on Wednesday.

“Reliance Defence and Engineering has emerged as the winner after a competitive bidding process to build 14 fast patrol vessels. The contract is worth Rs 920 crore — hopefully, it will be signed shortly,” one official source said.

Five other bidders were in fray, including state-run defence and private sector shipyards. Among them were Goa Shipyard and Larsen and Toubro.

The vessels will be designed for anti-smuggling and anti-terrorist operations, besides protection of Indian fisheries as well as search and rescue.

“The vessels will also serve as critical support for the Indian Navy during war as a coast-based escort and communications facilitator,” the source said.

Reliance Defence is already building five naval offshore patrol vessels for the Indian Navy under a Rs 2,500-crore contract.

The technical capability of Reliance Defence was cleared at a recent meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council. This purportedly makes the vessels eligible for participation in all defence-related naval projects.

In March last year, the Anil Ambani-led group had agreed to acquire an 18-per cent stake in Pipavav Defence for Rs 819 crore, following which more shares were acquired in an open offer, to take the holding to 35 per cent.

The company has since been renamed Reliance Defence and Engineering. (IANS)