Indian Navy’s INS Jalashwa Arrives in Kochi With 588 Citizens from Maldives

The Indian Navy amphibious transport dock INS Jalashwa (L41) entered Kochi harbour in Kerala state today morning concluding her second voyage to bring back Indians from Male, Maldives.

The ship disembarked 588 Indian citizens including 70 women (06 expectant mothers) and 21 children at the Samudrika Cruise Terminal of Cochin Port Trust.

The vessel is supporting Operation Samudra Setu, the Indian Navy’s contribution to India’s national effort to bring home its citizens from foreign shores by sea amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

INS Jalashwa berthed alongside at Cochin Port Trust at 11:30 am and was received by the personnel from Indian Navy, Kerala State Government, District Administration and Port Trust. Extensive arrangements were also made by the Port authorities for streamlining the process of COVID screening and immigration procedures as also by the civil administration for transportation for the evacuated Indian nationals to respective districts/States for further quarantining.

INS Jalashwa had embarked on Indian citizens at Male on 15 May 20 as part of the Indian Government’s national efforts to facilitate the return of Indian citizens from foreign shores. The ship’s scheduled departure on 15 May was delayed due to inclement weather, accompanied by heavy rains and strong winds and the ship had departed Male on 16 May.

INS Jalashwa (L41)
Indian Navy amphibious transport dock INS Jalashwa departs Maldives on May 16, 2020. Indian Navy Photo.

INS Jalashwa (L41)

INS Jalashwa (“Hippopotamus”) is the sole amphibious transport dock ship (Landing Platform Dock, LPD) currently in service with the Indian Navy.

The vessel is an Austin-class amphibious transport dock formerly operated by the U.S. Navy. She was called USS Trenton (LPD-14) in the U.S. Navy service.

Trenton, along with six Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King helicopters, were procured from the United States by India for a total of US$90 million in 2005. The vessel is the only Indian naval ship to be acquired from the United States.

The vessel was commissioned into the Indian Navy fleet as INS Jalashwa on 22 June 2007. She is based in Visakhapatnam under the Navy’s Eastern Naval Command (ENC).

Jalashwa features a well deck, which can house up to four LCM-8 mechanized landing craft. She also has a flight deck for helicopter operations from which up to six medium helicopters can operate simultaneously. She is also capable of embarking over 1,000 troops and is fully equipped with extensive medical facilities including four operation theatres, a 12-bed ward, a laboratory, and a dental centre.

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