The Indian Navy has launched the sixth ship of the LCU MK IV project at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
LCU L-56 is a part of the series of eight landing craft utility ships being designed and built by GRSE for the navy.
The ship can be deployed for maritime roles such as beaching operations, humanitarian and disaster relief operations, and evacuation from distant islands.
The first ship of the class LCU-L51 was launched in March 2014 and is currently undergoing sea trials at GRSE. The vessel is anticipated to be delivered to the navy shortly.
Vice-admiral Bimal Kumar Verma reportedly stated that the Indian Navy has been supporting the drive for indigenous construction of warships, leading to advancements of the nation's shipbuilding industry, and acknowledged the role of GRSE as a reliable partner in pursuing the national goal of 'Make in India'.
GRSE is designing and building eight LCU ships, as part of a $340m agreement signed with the Indian Navy in September 2011.
As per the agreed terms, construction work on the ships commenced in September 2012.
Designed for multipurpose amphibious operations that are jointly carried out by Indian Navy and Indian Army, MK IV LCU class vessels ensure the maritime security of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, and the Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea.
Image: LCU L-56 can be deployed for several maritime roles. Photo: courtesy of Indian Navy.