Indian Navy has commissioned its sixth Mk-IV class Landing Craft Utility (LCU) vessel, IN LCU L56, during a ceremony at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam on July 29.
The commissioning was formally conducted by Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain, AVSM, VSM Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Navy’s Eastern Naval Command. ice Admiral AK Saxena, PVSM AVSM Controller of Warship Production & Acquisition IHQMoD(N), Maj General Biji Mathew, Chief of Staff, Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), Commodore Ashutosh Ridhorkar, Naval Component Commander (NAVCC) ANC, Rear Admiral VK Saxena (Retd) CMD, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) along with all Flag Officers of ENC and other dignitaries were present during the commissioning ceremony.
The IN LCU L56 vessel (Yard no: 2097) was delivered to the navy by its builder, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), on March 30. She will be based in Port Blair under the Naval Component Commander (NAVCC) in Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), India’s first and only tri-service command.
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 indigenously designed and 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).