Indian state-owned shipbuilder, Garden Reach Ship Builders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE) has delivered the sixth Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk-IV class vessel, IN LCU L56, to the Indian Navy during a ceremony at its facility in Kolkata on March 30.
The vessel (Yard no: 2097) was formally “handed Over” by Rear Admiral V. K. Saxena, IN (Retd.) Chairman & Managing Director of GRSE to Lt. Cdr. Gopinath Narayanan, the Commanding Officer of the ship. Brigadier S. Y. Deshmukh, CSO (Tech) of Andaman and Nicobar (A&N) Command, carried out Final Inspection of the Ship prior to acceptance by the Indian Navy.
Sanjay Mitra, Indian Defence Secretary; Vice Admiral B. K. Verma, AVSM, ADC, Commander in Chief of A&N Command; Vice Admiral M. S. Pawar, AVSM, VSM, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff; Apurva Chandra, Director General (Acquisition) at Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD); Cmde. I. B. Uthaiah, VSM, Principal Director Ship Production; Sarvjit Singh Dogra, Director (Finance); Asit Kumar Nanda, Director (Personnel) and Cmde. Sanjeev Nayyar, IN (Retd), Director (Shipbuilding) and other senior officials of GRSE, Indian Navy were present at the occasion.
LCU Mk-IV ship is an amphibious ship with its primary role being transportation and deployment of main battle tanks (MBTs), armoured vehicles, troops and equipment from ship to shore. These ships are based at the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), can be deployed for multirole activities like beaching operations, search and rescue (SAR), disaster relief operations, supply and replenishment and evacuation from distant islands.
Mk IV LCU (Indian Navy)
Mk IV LCU is a class of indigenously designed and built Landing Craft Utility (LCU) vessels operated by the Indian Navy developed as a follow on class of Mk. III LCU. They are being built by state owned shipyard, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata.
The vessel is 63 meters long, overall beam of 11 meters, a hull draught of 2.2 meters and displaces around 830 tons.
With a maximum speed of 15 knots and an endurance of more than 1500 nautical miles, the ship is driven by twin-propeller fixed-pitch propulsion system powered by two MTU 16V 4000 M53 marine diesel engines(each generating 1840 KWs). Each engine drives a Fundivisa-supplied fixed-pitch propeller through a Reintjes WAF 763 P reversible reduction gearbox.
Two 30mm CRN-91 mounted guns with a Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL)-built EON-51 electro-optic director provide artillery fire support during landing operations. The ship is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and advanced systems such as the Integrated Bridge System (IBS) and the Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS).
The LCU has lift capacity for up to 216 personnel, including 160 fully equipped soldiers and 56 crew and 145 tonnes of military equipment. The vehicle lift capacity is one 65 ton main battle tank (MBT) like the Arjun or two 45 ton tanks like the T-72/80, or four 13.5 ton BMP infantry fighting vehicles (IFV). It is fitted with a hydraulic bow ramp which enables loading and unloading of combat equipment and vehicles on beaching. Ballast arrangement further ensures desired trim for smooth beaching operations.
The ship can be deployed for maritime roles like maritime security, beaching, un-beaching, humanitarian relief operations and evacuation from distant islands, search and rescue operations and peacekeeping missions.
The LCUs are being inducted into the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), India’s first and only tri-service command which is responsible for Andaman and Nicobar island territory. The Indian Navy is developing the chain of islands as an amphibious warfare hub to counterbalance China’s growing military influence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
The remaining two ships of the same class are in advanced stages of construction at GRSE and are scheduled to be inducted over the next year.