the Indian Navy the last of the eight landing craft utility (LCU) ships manufactured by it, providing a major boost to the country’s defence preparedness, a top company official said.
The amphibious ships, to be based in the strategic location of Andaman and Nicobar Islands — which is close to various routes leading to the South China Sea — “are specifically designed to undertake landing operations in most difficult beaching areas”, GRSE chairman and managing director Rear Admiral (retd) V K Saxena said.
Despite challenges owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) has successfully delivered the last of eight LCUs manufactured for the Indian Navy, he said.
The LCU ships, equipped with state-of-the-art technology, were developed in-house with 90 per cent of its parts indigenously manufactured.
“These ships are very unique in their design and class in the world. A very specific kind of requirement was given by the Indian Navy — speed of 15 knots, a displacement of 900- odd tonnes and a low draught for beaching in the shallowest of waters,” Saxena told PTI.
Apart from troops, each ship can accommodate main battle tanks, personnel carriers and other Army vehicles, which can be launched on the beaches, he said on Thursday.
The ships are designed to accommodate 216 personnel and have two indigenous CRN 91 guns to provide artillery fire support during landing operations, he added.