INS Jalashwa Arrives in Tuticorin with 700 Indians Embarked

The Indian Navy amphibious transport dock INS Jalashwa (L41) arrived in Tuticorin with 700 Indian nationals embarked on June 7, the service announced.

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.

The ship arrived in Male, the Maldives on June 4, and departed the next day for her third trip under Op Samudra Setu. During the embarkation, the ship was visited by Colonel Mohamed Saleem, the Commandant of the Maldives Coast Guard.

The ship observed strict COVID protocols on board during the journey. The evacuated citizens were disembarked at Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu and entrusted to the care of State authorities.

With this trip, Jalashwa successfully brought back almost 2700 Indian citizens from the Maldives and Sri Lanka to Indian shores under the broader umbrella of the Indian Government’s Mission Vande Bharat.

INS Jalashwa (L41)
File image of Indian Navy amphibious transport dock INS Jalashwa in the Maldives. 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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