The Indian Navy has commissioned the first ship, INLCU L51, of the landing craft utility (LCU) Mk IV Class project at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
LCU L51 is the first of a total eight planned LCU Mk IV Class vessels, and has been developed by Garden Reach Ship Builders and Engineers (GRSE) in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
The indigenously designed INLCU L51 vessel has a length of 62.8m and a width of 11m, and features a displacement of 900t.
LCU-L51 was launched in March 2014 and has successfully completed sea trials at GRSE, which is building the series as part of a $340m agreement signed with the Indian Navy in September 2011.
Construction work on the ships started in September 2012.
The INLCU L51 vessel can sustain speeds up to 15kn and has an endurance of 1,500nm. It is propelled by two MTU diesel engines of 1,840kW rating.
The armament deployed on the vessel comprises two 30mm CRN-91 guns, which are controlled by an electrical day-night fire control system known as the Stabilised Optronic Pedestal (SOP).
The ship also features 12.7mm heavy machine guns and 7.62mm medium machine guns, in addition to latest electronic warfare suite integrated for early detection of adversaries, as well as an integrated platform management system and integrated bridge system for automated controls and quick functioning.
The Indian Navy ship has been designed and developed with the aim of supporting amphibious operations by carrying out beaching activities.
INLCU L51 will be deployed to carry out maritime surveillance of India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands in order to prevent illegal fishing, drug and human trafficking, poaching and other illegal activities.
It will also help improve the capabilities of the Andaman and Nicobar Command in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations.