Saturday, 17 September 2011

Navy to get 8 amphibious assault vessels

New Delhi:  Strengthening Navy's operational capabilities, the government has cleared an over Rs. 2,170-crore proposal to build eight amphibious assault vessels for the maritime force.

The proposal to build eight Landing Craft Utility (LCUs) was cleared in a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) held earlier this week and the vessels would be built by the defence undertaking Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers in Kolkata, sources said here.

The eight new vessels with a displacement of around 500 tonnes will be built and delivered to the Navy in the next three to four years, they said.

The new vessels will be used to replace the existing fleet of six amphibious boats already in service, they said.

The LCU is a boat used by amphibious forces to transport equipment and troops to the shore and are capable of transporting combat vehicles and troops from amphibious assault ships to shores. Its current fleet of LCUs is capable of carrying 35 armed troops right up to the beach and land.

The clearance to Navy's proposal is part of India's efforts to develop its amphibious warfare capabilities.

It is also planning to develop the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as a major amphibious warfare hub by setting up full-fledged training facilities and basing a sea-and-land fighting unit to provide teeth to its capability to take the battle into enemy shores.

India is in the process of building own large-size amphibious warfare vessels and has also procured a warship from the US now christened INS Jalashwa to augment its capabilities in this regard.