MAMOSA Report — India’s navy commissioned the first of eight indigenously designed and constructed Landing Craft Utility ships during a ceremony at Port Blair near the Malacca Strait on Tuesday.
The LCU Mark IV ship, named L 51, has been built by state-owned shipyard Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) in Kolkata.
The ship’s commissioning supports the country’s Make In India initiative, an effort pushed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to encourage more domestic economic activity.
The Indian Express reported the landing craft has been designed for amphibious operations jointly carried out by the Navy and the Army to ensure maritime security of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in Bay of Bengal and Lakshadweep Islands in Arabian Sea.
About 3,000 soldiers trained in amphibious warfare are deployed at the Andaman and Nicobar Command at Port Blair. The Navy will soon open commercial bids for procuring new Landing Platform Docks (LPD) amphibious warships, the Russian news agency Sputnik reported.
Once in service, the new vessel which spans 63 meter in length and 11 meter in breadth will carry five officers, 46 sailors and 160 troops at a time. The ship is capable of carrying heavy military equipment such as tanks, armored vehicles and combat equipment, and has an endurance of 1500 nautical miles at speeds up to 15 knots.
The ship is also fitted with an integrated bridge and platform management systems to support amphibious operations, search-and-rescue missions and other humanitarian functions.