Indian Naval Landing Craft Utility (LCU) L58, the eighth and last ship of the Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mark IV Class, was commissioned into the Indian Navy at Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands on Thursday. Commander-in-Chief, Andaman and Nicobar Command (CINCAN) Lieutenant General Manoj Pande was the Chief Guest and Chairman & Managing Director, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE) Rear Admiral Vipin Kumar Saxena, IN (Retd) was present for the event.
Commander Krishan K. Yadav read the Commissioning Warrant as the first Commanding Officer of the ship. The ship is manned by a motivated team of five officers and 50 sailors. Indigenously designed and built by GRSE, Kolkata, the ship’s commissioning has added one more feather in the cap of the nation’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ programme in the field of warship design and construction.
The LCU 58 is an amphibious ship which can carry 160 troops, in addition to its crew. With a displacement of 900 tons, the ship is capable of carrying various types of combat vehicles such as Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), BMPs, Armoured Vehicles, trucks, etc. The ship measures 63 meters in length and is fitted with two MTA 4,000 series engines, which are capable of propelling the ship at speeds of up to 15 knots (28 kmph).
The ship is also fitted with an advanced Electronic Support Measure (ESM) suite to intercept enemy radar transmissions, an advanced Integrated Bridge System (IBS) and a sophisticated Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS), which allow single station monitoring of the ship’s navigational and machinery equipment respectively. The main armament of the ship includes two indigenously manufactured 30 mm CRN 91 guns which are controlled by a Stabilised Optronic Pedestal (SOP), an electronic day-night director sight manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). In addition, the ship is fitted with six Machine Gun Posts to neutralise air, surface and sub-conventional threats.
The LCU 58 would be based at Port Blair and will be deployed in a variety of roles such as Beaching, Search and Rescue, Disaster Relief, Coastal Patrol and Surveillance operations along the Andaman and Nicobar Group of Islands, Bay of Bengal and in the Indian Ocean. It will augment the Indian Navy’s mobility, reach and flexibility, furthering the Andaman and Nicobar Command’s motto, ‘Victory through Jointness’.