The Indian navy commissioned the “L-56,” the sixth of the eight ordered amphibious vessels of the Mark IV Landing Craft Utility (LCU)-class on Monday, 29 July.
Manufacturer of the ship, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) signed an agreement for worth INR 21 billion ($305 million) with the Indian Navy for designing and building the LCU ships in September 2011. The L-56 is the 100th vessel built by the shipbuilder.
An LCU Mk-IV ship can be used for transportation and deployment of Main Battle Tanks, Armored Vehicles, troops and equipment from ship to shore. These ships based at the Andaman and Nicobar Command, can be deployed for multirole activities like beaching operations, search and rescue, disaster relief operations, supply and replenishment and evacuation from distant islands.
The LCU is 63 m in length and 11 m wide and has a displacement of 830 tonnes with a draught of 1.7 metres. It can achieve speed of 15 knots. The LCU is designed to accommodate 216 personnel and is equipped with two Indigenous CRN 91 Guns to provide artillery fire support during landing operations. The ship is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and advanced systems like Integrated Bridge System (IBS) and Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS).
The ships are equipped with Bow Ramps to enable loading/unloading of combat equipment and vehicles upon beaching. The ships are designed with ballasting and de-ballasting arrangements to achieve the desired trim for smooth beaching operations. Two guns are also installed to provide Artillery fire support during landing operations.
The Mark IV LCU Vessels are a further improved version of the Mark III LCU Vessels presently being used by the Indian Navy. The first ship of the Mark IV LCU Vessels IN LCU L-51 was commissioned into Indian Navy during March 2017.