The Indian Navy has commissioned the sixth ship of the Mark-IV class landing craft utility (LCU) vessels, IN LCU L-56, during a ceremony at Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam.

The commissioning ceremony was attended by officials from the Indian Navy and the shipbuilder Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE).

IN LCU L-56 was launched in March 2016 and is the 100th warship of GRSE.

Designed to carry 216 personnel, the Mark-IV class LCU vessels can be used to transport and deploy main battle tanks, armoured vehicles, troops, and equipment from ship to shore.

The vessels in this class are based at the Andaman and Nicobar Command. India will induct a total of eight GRSE-designed and built Mk IV LCU amphibious vessels.

The navy will deploy the ships in support of multirole activities, such as beaching operations, search and rescue, disaster relief operations, supply, and replenishment and evacuation from distant islands.

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IN LCU L-56 is armed with two indigenous CRN 91 guns for artillery fire support during landing operations.

In addition, the vessel features integrated bridge system (IBS) and an integrated platform management system (IPMS). Around 90% of the systems used in LCU are developed locally.

In a statement, the Indian Ministry of Defence said: “The Mark-IV LCU vessels are a further improved version of the Mk-III LCU vessels presently being used by the Indian Navy.”

About 22 vessels meant for the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard are in various stages of construction at GRSE.

The company won the contract for the design and construction of eight LCU ships in September 2011.