Lieutenant General PS Rajeshwar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, Commander-in-Chief A&N Command, commissioned INLCU L57 into the Indian Navy on 15 May 2020 at Port Blair. INLCU L57 is the seventh Landing Craft Utility (LCU) MK-IV class to be inducted into the Indian Navy. The ship has been indigenously designed and built by M/s Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata. The commissioning of INLCU L57 is yet another manifestation of the country’s indigenous design and ship building capability.
The LCU MK-IV ship, is an amphibious vessel with a designated primary role of transporting and deploying Main Battle Tanks, Armoured Vehicles, troops and equipment from ship to shore. Based at the Andaman and Nicobar Command, these ships can be deployed for multirole activities like beaching operations, search and rescue, disaster relief operations, supply and replenishment and evacuation from distant islands.
The ship, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Harshvardhan Venugopal, has a complement of five officers, 45 sailors and is capable of carrying 160 troops in addition. The ship, displacing 830 tonnes, is capable of transporting various kinds of combat equipment such as Main Battle Tanks Arjun, T72 and other vehicles. The ship is fitted with state-of-art equipment and advanced systems, like Integrated Bridge System (IBS) and Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS).
The last ship of the same class is at an advanced stage of construction at M/S GRSE, Kolkata, and is scheduled to be inducted by this year end. It is anticipated that induction of these ships will contribute to the nation’s maritime security needs, in consonance with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s drive for ‘Make in India’.