Update on acquisition of Landing Craft Utility vessels

Recently, the Government has cleared the Rs 2,176-crore acquisition of eight specialized vessels or LCUs (landing craft utility) capable of “hard beaching” on enemy shores to boost the country’s amphibious warfare and island protection capabilities.

What is a Landing Craft Utility (LCU)?

  • Landing Craft Utility (LCU) is a type of specialized boat that is used by forces to transport equipment and troops to and from the shore.
  • They are capable of transporting tracked or wheeled vehicles and troops from amphibious assault ships to beachheads or piers.
  • The defense ministry is also is finalizing another project to acquire four huge amphibious warfare ships, called Landing Platform Docks (LPDs) for “standoff beaching”, for around Rs 16,000 crore.

What is the use?

  • Landing Craft Utility and Landing Platform Docks would help in swiftly transporting thousands of troops, heavy weapon systems and infantry combat vehicles over long distances to take the battle right to the enemy mainland.

Where they shall be located?

  • The LCUs are likely to be based at India’s first and only regional ‘theatre command’, the strategically-located Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC). With additional airstrips, OTR (operational turn around) bases and jetties, ANC is slowly being transformed into a major amphibious warfare hub. A strong military presence in the 572-island archipelago is considered imperative to counter China’s strategic moves in the Indian Ocean as well as ensure security of the sea lanes converging towards Malacca Strait.
  • The armed forces have been sharpening their amphibious warfare skills with a series of exercises over the last few years to practice blitzkrieg assaults on enemy territory from the sea. (TOI)

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