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Indian Navy commissions sixth Mk IV LCU

The sixth Mk IV LCU, seen here during its launch in 2016. (Indian Ministry of Defence.)

The sixth Mk IV LCU, seen here during its launch in 2016. (Indian Ministry of Defence.)

The Indian Navy has commissioned its sixth Mk IV landing craft utility (LCU).

The vessel (L 56), which was launched by India’s state-owned shipyard Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) in March 2016, was commissioned on 30 March in a ceremony at Kolkata, the country’s Ministry of Defence announced on the same day.

The LCU is part of an INR21 billion (USD303 million) contract signed between GRSE and the Indian government in September 2011. The first of class (L 51) was commissioned in March 2017, while a further four LCUs (L 52 to L 55) were inducted between August that year and December 2018.

The vessel has a standard displacement of 830 tonnes, an overall length of 62.8 m, an overall beam of 11 m, and a hull draught of 2.2 m. Powered by two MTU 16V 4000 M53 diesel engines with a power rating of 1,840 kW, and a twin fixed-pitch propeller propulsion system, the LCU can attain a maximum speed of 15 kt and a standard range of 1,500 n miles at 12 kt. It can accommodate 50 personnel, including five officers.

The LCU is armed with two 30 mm CRN-91 Sarath naval gun system turrets manufactured by Ordnance Factory Medak that are each complemented with a Bharat Electronics-built EON-51 electro-optic fire-control director. The vessel has a lift capacity for up to 160 fully equipped soldiers.

L 56 will be based at India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands territory. The Indian Navy is expected to commission the remaining L 57 and L 58 during the next six months.

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