Indian shipbuilder Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) has launched the last landing craft utility (LCU) ship for the Indian Navy.

The company has designed a total of eight LCU ships for the LCU MK IV project, as part of a $340m agreement signed with the navy in September 2011.

As per the agreed terms, construction work on the ships commenced in September 2012.

The new amphibious ship, designated LCU-L58, will be used for multirole activities, such as beaching operations for landing troops ashore, humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations, and evacuation of personnel from distant islands.

It can also be used to transport main battle tanks, armoured vehicles and troops from the Indian Army during amphibious operations.

All the eight LCU ships will be powered by two MTU 16V 4000 M53 marine diesel engines, with a twin fixed-pitch propeller propulsion system.

Designed for multipurpose amphibious operations that are jointly carried out by the Indian Navy and Indian Army, MK IV LCU class vessels help ensure the maritime security of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, and the Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea.

The first ship of the class LCU-L51 was launched in March 2014 and is currently undergoing sea trials at GRSE. The vessel was delivered to the navy this September.

The sixth and seventh ships of the LCU MK IV project were launched earlier this year, in March and November respectively.

Image: GRSE has designed a total of eight LCU ships for the LCU MK IV project. Photo: courtesy of Indian Navy.