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Landing Craft Utility - LCU Mk-IV

LCU MK-IV vessels will be based in Andaman and Nicobar Command. Landing craft are used by amphibious forces to transport equipment and troops to the shore. They are capable of transporting tracked or wheeled vehicles and troops from amphibious assault ships to beachheads or piers. The use of landing craft in amphibious assault dates from World War II. The craft are carried aboard amphibious assault ships to the objective area. The mission of the LCU is to land/retrieve personnel and equipment (tanks, artillery, equipment, motor vehicles) during amphibious operations. LCU's are scheduled to land personnel and equipment after the initial assault waves of an amphibious operation.

In September 2011 India cleared a Rs 2,176-crore acquisition of eight LCUs (landing craft utility), capable of "hard beaching" on enemy shores, to boost the country's amphibious warfare and island protection capabilities. This came as the defence ministry was finalizing another project to acquire four Landing Platform Docks (LPDs) for "stand-off beaching", for around Rs 16,000 crore. These new plans follow a significant buildup in other amphibious warfare ships, including the induction of the 16,900-tonne INS Jalashwa, formerly the USS Trenton.

The Cabinet Committee on Security cleared the LCU project for the eight amphibious assault vessels, to be built by the Kolkata-based defence PSU Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. The first LCU will be delivered in three years. The LCUs are likely to be based at India's first and only regional 'theatre command', the strategically-located Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), formed a decade earlier. The Army has three specifically-earmarked amphibious brigades, with almost 10,000 soldiers, one based in South India, another in West India and the third at ANC.

The ships are fitted with an advanced Integrated Platform Management System for remote control of propulsion, auxiliary and power generating equipment. Two CRN-91 indigenous 30 MM guns to provide fire support during operations will also be fitted onboard. The ship can be deployed for maritime roles like maritime security, beaching/un-beaching, humanitarian relief operations and evacuation from distant islands, search and rescue operations and peace-keeping missions. The vessels are made from 16 hull blocks, the largets of which is 25 tonnes. Block production is outsourced to small yards around Kolkata.

The third ship of the Landing Craft Utility(LCU) Mk IV project, Yard 2094, for the Indian Navy was launched at an impressive ceremony at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Kolkata on 16 Jan 2015, in the presence of Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba, Vice Chief of the Naval Staff and Smt. Reena Lanba. Launching of Yard 2094, designed in-house and built by GRSE for the Indian Navy is yet another milestone in Indias quest for self-reliance in sophisticated shipbuilding.

The fourth ship in the series of eight Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk IV project - Yard 2095 - for the Indian Navy was launched at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Kolkata, 23 March 2015. Invocations from Atharva Veda were recited and Smt. Pattanaik named the ship LCU L54 and wished the ship good luck before launch.

The fifth ship of LCU MK IV project, was launched on 07 Dec 15 at an impressive ceremony at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd, Kolkata. The chief guest, Vice Admiral AV Subhedar, AVSM, VSM, Chief of Material, Chairman & Managing Director GRSE and various other dignitaries were present on the occasion. Rear Admiral AK Verma (Retd), VSM, Chairman & Managing Director, GRSE Ltd, commenced the proceedings with a formal welcome, which was followed by an address by the Chief Guest.

The sixth ship of LCU MK IV project, was launched on 12 March 2016 at an impressive ceremony at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd, Kolkata. In accordance with the traditions, invocations from Atharva Veda were recited and Smt Seema Verma, wife of Vice Admiral Bimal Kumar Verma, AVSM, Commander-in-Chief, Andaman & Nicobar Command, applied Kumkum on the ships stem. She, thereafter, named the ship as LCU-L56, wished the ship good luck and launched the vessel.

The seventh ship of LCU MK IV project is launched 24 November 2016 at an impressive ceremony at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd, Kolkata. The chief guest, Dr Subhash Ramarao Bhamre , Honble Raksha Rajya Mantri alongwith Vice Admiral DM Deshpande AVSM, VSM, Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition(CWP&A), Chairman & Managing Director GRSE and various other dignitaries were present for the launch ceremony. Rear Admiral AK Verma (Retd), Chairman & Managing Director, GRSE Ltd, commenced the proceedings with a formal welcome, which was followed by an address by the Chief Guest. In accordance with traditions, invocations from Atharva Veda were recited and Smt Bina Bhamre, wife of Honble RRM, applied Kumkum on the ships stem. She, thereafter, named the ship LCU-L57, wished the ship good luck and launched the vessel.

The launch of last ship of LCU MK IV project, an amphibious ship, 16 December 2016, at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd, Kolkata, marks yet another significant milestone in the annals of the Indigenous Warship design and construction programme of India. The chief guest for the occasion was Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Honble Union Minister of State Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge), Government of India. Rear Admiral AK Verma (Retired), Chairman and Managing Director GRSE and various other dignitaries were also present on the occasion. The Chairman and Managing Director, GRSE Ltd, commenced the proceedings with a formal welcome, which was followed by an address by the Chief Guest. In accordance with traditions, invocation from the Atharva Veda was rendered and the ship was named LCU-L58. Thereafter, the ship was launched by Smt Neelam Pratap Singh Rudy and the vessel made its first contact with water.

Dr. Jagdish Mukhi, Lieutenant Governor, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, commissioned IN LCU L52 into the Indian Navy 21 August 2017 at Port Blair. IN LCU L52 is the second Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk-IV class to be inducted into the Indian Navy. The ship has been indigenously designed and built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata. The commissioning of L-52 is yet another manifestation of the potential of the countrys indigenous design and ship building capability. The remaining six ships of the same class were in advanced stages of construction at M/S GRSE, Kolkata and were scheduled to be inducted in the next two years.

The Indian Navy inducted the third ship of the Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk-IV project at Port Blair. The ship was commissioned on 25 April 2018 as INLCU L53 by Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, commander-in-chief, Andaman & Nicobar Command, of the Indian Armed Forces' tri-service command. The command oversees India's Andaman and Nicobar Island territories, including the strategic Strait of Malacca in the Indian Ocean. "LCU MK-IV ship is an amphibious ship with a displacement of 830 Tons and is capable of transporting combat equipment such as Main Battle Tanks Arjun, T72, and other Armored Vehicles. The ship is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and advanced systems such as the Integrated Bridge System (IBS) and the Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS). The indigenous CRN 91 Gun with Stabilised Optronic Pedestal provides the ship the requisite offensive capability for undertaking patrolling in addition," the Indian defense ministry said in a statement.

Vice Admiral GS Pabby, AVSM, VSM, Chief of Materiel commissioned IN LCU L54 into the Indian Navy 25 May 2018 at Port Blair. IN LCU L54 is the fourth Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk-IV class to be inducted into the Indian Navy. The ship has been indigenously designed and built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata. The Commissioning of L-54 is yet another manifestation of the countrys indigenous design and ship building capability. The Indian Navy on 19 December 2018 commissioned its fifth L55 landing craft ship, following a ceremony at Port Blair. The Mk-IV class ship is indigenously designed and built by the state-owned Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata. The ship, commanded by Lt Cdr Abhishek Kumar, has a complement of five officers, 45 sailors and is capable of carrying 160 troops. The remaining three ships of the same class were in advanced stages of production at the GRSE facility in Kolkata and are scheduled to be inducted over the next year and a half.

The Indian Navy is looking to bolster its military capabilities at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, situated near the Strait of Malacca - one of the world's major maritime choke-points. For the last two years, India has massively enhanced its naval capabilities at the Andaman and Nicobar Command. Apart from the five LCUs, a floating dock for warships and one P-8i submarine killer aircraft have also been deployed to keep an eye on the movements of the Chinese Navy.

Specifications
Displacement, Light 830 Tons
Displacement, Full 1001 tons
Length 62.8m
Draft 1.7m
Depth 4m
Propulsion 2 x MTU 16V 4000 M53 marine diesel engines (1,840 kW)
twin fixed-pitch propeller
Speed 15 kt
Range 1,500nm at 12 kt
Electronics
  • SATCOM - LINK II Mod 1 tactical datalink
  • Sanket S passive electronic warfare system
  • ELK 7036 communications intelligence (COMINT) system
  • MiniPOP surveillance system
  • Armament
  • 2 x CRN 91 indigenous 30 MM guns
  • 2 x HMG
  • 4 x MMG
  • Igla MANPAD's
  • Crew 05 officers, 46 sailors
    Troops 160
    Cargo 145 tonnes of military equipment
    1 x 65 ton Arjun tank, or
    2 x 45 ton T-72/80, or
    4 x 13.5 ton BMP Infantry Fighting Vehicles

    Ships
    Name Builder Launch Comm Decomm
    LCU Mk.4
    LCU L51 Garden
    Reach
    12 Mar 2014 28 Mar 2017
    LCU L52 Garden
    Reach
    23 Sep 2014 21 Aug 2017
    LCU L53 Garden
    Reach
    16 Jan 2015 25 Apr 2018
    LCU L54 Garden
    Reach
    23 Mar 2015 25 May 2018
    LCU L55 Garden
    Reach
    07 Dec 2015 19 Dec 2018
    LCU L56 Garden
    Reach
    12 Mar 2016 2020
    LCU L57 Garden
    Reach
    24 Nov 2016 2020
    LCU L58 Garden
    Reach
    16 Dec 2016 2020


    LCU Mk-IV LCU Mk-IV LCU Mk-IV LCU Mk-IV LCU Mk-IV LCU Mk-IV




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