Indian Navy has commissioned its second Mk. IV Landing Craft Utility (LCU), IN LCU L 52 at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar (A&N) Islands.
The commissioning was done by Prof Jagdish Mukhi, Lt. Governor of the A&N Islands and the ceremony was hosted by Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman & Nicobar Command, India’s only joint tri-services command.
Th ship will be commanded by Commander Kaushik Chatterjee.
About Mk IV LCU:
Mk IV LCU class vessels are follow on class of Mk. III LCU operated by the Indian Navy. The Mk IV LCU are meant to augment the Indian Navy’s amphibious capability.
The ship was indigenously designed and developed by the state-owned shipyard, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE).
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 will be inducted into the tri-service command responsible for India’s 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. The craft may also operate in the Arabian Sea.
The ship 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 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-built EON-51 electro-optic director provide artillery fire support during landing operations.
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 tank like the Arjun or two 45 ton tanks like the T-72/80, or four 13.5 ton BMP Infantry Fighting Vehicles. 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.