September 23, 2014

GRSE launches Landing Craft Utility for Indian Navy

The second of the Indian Navy's eight Landing Craft-Utility ships for amphibious operations, being built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd., was launched here Monday and is expected to be commissioned by the year end, a defence release said.

"The launching marks completion of main hull of the ship, which will now be fitted out with essential equipment and systems before sea-trials and commissioning, which is expected by the year end," said the statement.

The LCU Mark-IV ships have been developed in-house by GRSE as per the navy's requirements, and are designed for "multipurpose amphibious operations" jointly carried by the navy and army for ensuring maritime security of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, and Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea, it said.

The keel of the LCU - Yard 2093 - was laid on April 2013.

As per maritime traditions, the ship was launched by Sharmistha Chatterjee, wife of Andaman and Nicobar Command chief, Vice Admiral P.K. Chatterjee, who was the chief guest on the occasion, the release said.

GRSE chairman and managing director Rear Admiral A.K. Verma (retd), and officials from the defence ministry and state administration were also present.

GRSE had signed the contract for design and building of eight LCU ships from Indian Navy on September 2011.

The ships, 63 metres long, 11 metres wide and displacing around 830 tons, are designed to transport tanks and troops to the islands. With a maximum speed of 15 knots and an endurance of more than 1,500 nautical miles, they can accommodate 216 personnel including 160 troops, the statement said.

They have two 30mm CRN-91 mounted guns to provide artillery fire support during landing operations.


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