The Indian Navy (IN) has commissioned its fourth Mk IV landing craft utility (LCU) platform built by state-owned shipyard Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE).
Named IN LCU L54 , the 62.8 m vessel entered service in a ceremony held on 25 May at Port Blair, the capital of India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands and headquarters of the IN-headed tri-service command.
The platform, which is part of an INR21 billion (USD310 million) contract for eight LCUs signed between GRSE and the Indian government in September 2011, was launched at GRSE’s facility in Kolkata in March 2015, and now joins three other vessels of the class – L51, L52, L53 – that entered service in March 2017, August 2017, and April 2018, respectively.
The remaining four LCUs of the class, all of which have been launched, are in advanced stages of construction in Kolkata and are scheduled to be inducted over the next year and a half, according to the IN.
The class has a crew of 46, including five officers, and is fitted with “state-of-the-art equipment and advanced systems” such as a locally designed integrated bridge system (IBS) and an integrated platform management system (IPMS), the IN said.
Each of the vessels has a standard displacement of 830 tonnes and is capable of transporting up to 160 troops, armoured vehicles, and other military equipment such as containerised mission modules for amphibious and sealift operations.
Based at the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), these vessels will also be deployed for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) missions and limited search-and-rescue duties when required.
Each of the LCUs is powered by two German-built MTU 16V 4000 M53 diesel engines, and can attain a top speed of 15 kt, with a standard range of 1,500 n miles at 12 kt.
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