The sixth of the Class of Eight Landing Craft Utility (LCU) was commissioned July 29 at Visakhapatnam by VAdm Atul Kumar Jain, along with other dignitaries
What started in 1961 with the delivery of Seaward Defence Boat (Mk-I) is witnessing a splendid culmination with the commissioning of 100th warship, built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE), Kolkata. GRSE was recently recognised as one of the ‘Next Fortune 500 Companies of India’ at an event celebrating ‘India’s largest midsize companies and value creators.’
The sixth of the Class of Eight Landing Craft Utility (LCU) was commissioned July 29 at Visakhapatnam by Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain, AVSM, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command. The ceremony was attended by Rear Admiral VK Saxena (Retd), chairman & managing director, GRSE and other senior officials of the Indian Navy and GRSE.
GRSE’s has been building warships and other vessels for the country’s Navy and Coast Guard over the last six decades. Over last 59 years, GRSE has built around 780 platforms which include 100 warships to Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard & government of Mauritius, which is the highest number of warships built & delivered by any shipyard in the country. From building five ton boats to 24,600-ton fleet tanker, GRSE has done it all and has proved its mettle as a pioneer warship builder of the nation. 67 of the 100 warships were for the Indian Navy and are varied in their range and scope.
From anti-submarine warfare shallow water crafts, frigates, missile corvettes, anti-submarine warfare corvettes, fleet tankers, landing ship tank, landing craft utility to survey vessels, offshore patrol vessels and fast attack crafts – the repertoire is rich and varied. GRSE has embraced infrastructure modernisation over past decades with INR 605 crore investment towards creating an integrated shipbuilding facility enabling concurrent construction of 20 ships.
“The entire design of these LCU Mark IV ships has been developed in-house by GRSE as per requirements specified by Indian Navy. The construction of the balance two ships is progressing as per the schedule. LCU Mk-IV ship is an amphibious ship with its primary role being transportation and deployment of main battle tanks, armoured 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,” GRSE said in a press release.
The LCU is 63 m in length and 11 m wide and has a displacement of 830 T with a low draught of 1.7 m. 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 LCU Mark IV Class of ships are fitted with close to 90 per cent indigenous content in line with the government of India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative towards achieving self-reliance and indigenisation. 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.
Substantial modifications to improve the ergonomics, habitability and layout of critical compartments have been implemented on this ship. 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.