Kolkata, Nov 24 (IANS) Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd on Thursday launched the seventh landing craft-utility (LCU) vessel for the Indian Navy.
Eight LCUs are being built for maritime security of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea.
Following the tradition of launching of a ship by a woman, Bina Bhamre, wife of Minister of State for Defence Subhash Ramrao Bhamre, launched the vessel.
Each ship costs around Rs 230 crore, the minister said, adding that almost 90 per cent of the components were indigenous.
The vessels are meant to transport by sea and beach at far away islands to deploy tanks and troops.
“These LCUs are designed for multipurpose amphibious operations that are jointly carried out by Indian Navy… The bow of the ship opens out to form a ramp, which enables landing and unloading of combat equipment and vehicles on beaching,” said GRSE’s Chairman and Managing Director Rear Admiral A.K. Verma (Retd).
The ship was capable of carrying two tanks or four special vehicles and 160 army troops for landing at remote beach heads.
It is designed for a maximum speed of 15 knots with an endurance of more than 1,500 nautical miles, he said.
Commenting on the ongoing tension at the India-Pakistan borders, Bhamre said, “We want peace with our neighbour and our forces are ready and prepared…we can tackle any eventuality.”