The Indian Navy amphibious transport dock INS Jalashwa (L41) arrived off Bandar Abbas, Iran on the evening of June 24 and entered harbour on June 25 for another mission under the Navy’s Operation Samudra Setu.
The ship embarked 687 Indian citizens after the mandatory medical and baggage screening.
OPERATION SAMUDRA SETU INS JALASHWA EMBARKS INDIAN NATIONALS AT BANDAR ABBAS, IRAN https://t.co/X6bFl1SoOO #COVID19#SayNo2Panic#SayYes2Precautions#MoDAgainstCorona#StayHomeIndia#IndiaFightsCorona pic.twitter.com/sSqTBRgU1w
— ADG (M&C) DPR (@SpokespersonMoD) June 26, 2020
During the transit to Iran, the crew of INS Jalashwa undertook preparatory activities for evacuation operation which included sanitisation and preparation of living spaces for evacuees, preparation of welcome kits comprising masks and toiletries followed by allocation of bunks as per passenger manifest received from the Indian Embassy in Tehran.
The ship also handed over two Air Evacuation Pods indigenously developed by the Indian Navy, to the Iranian authorities. Living spaces onboard Jalashwa have been divided into three zones, while adhering to COVID-19 precautions, with zones earmarked for embarked personnel as well as the ship’s crew who may frequently come in contact with them.
The ship sailed out of Bandar Abbas late in the evening on June 25 on completion of embarkation.
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.