New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Indian Navy’s Andaman and Nicobar command has inducted its second amphibious Landing Craft Utility (LCU) MK-IV L52.
"LCU L52 would be based in the Andaman and Nicobar command and can be deployed for multirole activities like beaching operations, search and rescue, disaster relief operations, supply and replenishment and evacuation from distant islands, "Indian Navy said in a statement.Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) is in the advanced trials and are expected to be inducted in the next two years.
According to defense sources, the ship having displacement capacity of 830 tons is capable of transporting battle tanks Arjun, T72 and other heavy weapons systems. It can carry over two hundred personnel including sailors and troops from ship to shore and vice versa in the eventuality of an amphibious warfare near the strategically important Strait of Malacca.
The Strait of Malacca is a major shipping route from where most of China’s ships transport fuel from the Gulf. Since the beginning of this year, India has massively enhanced its naval capabilities in the area. Apart from the two LCUs, a floating dock for warships and submarines will also be stationed at the same location. The floating dock is currently undergoing trials. India’s state owned Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is also setting up a land based long range missile facility at Andaman’s Rutland Island which is approximately 200 kilometer from the Strait of Malacca.