The Indian Navy has commissioned the domestically designed and built, IN LCU L55, the fifth ship of Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk-IV-class.

The IN LCU L55 was inducted at the Andaman and Nicobar Command in Port Blair is an amphibious ship designed to transport and deploy troops and equipment from ship to shore.

It is capable of supporting multirole activities such as beaching operations, search-and-rescue, disaster relief operations, supply and replenishment, as well as evacuation from distant islands.

Commanded by lieutenant commander Abhishek Kumar, the IN LCU L55 has five officers, 45 sailors and can also carry 160 troops.

Designed and built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), the 830t ship is equipped with advanced systems, including integrated bridge system (IBS) and integrated platform management system (IPMS).

“IN LCU L55 can be used to transport combat equipment such as the Main Battle Tank, T72 and other armoured vehicles.”

IN LCU L55 can be used to transport combat equipment such as the Main Battle Tank, T72 and other armoured vehicles.

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In September 2011, the Indian Navy awarded a $340m contract to GRSE for the design and construction of eight LCU ships. The fourth vessel under the contract, LCU-L54, was commissioned in May this year.

Construction of the remaining three ships is in progress, with induction expected to take place over the next 18 months.

The ships span a length of 62.8m and can cruise at a speed of 15k with a low draught of 1.8m. In addition, they are armed with two guns to provide artillery fire support during landing operations.

The India Ministry of Defence hopes to bolster the nation’s maritime security through the induction of these ships.