Navy to induct mechanised craft

New Delhi: Looking to augment its amphibious warfare capabilities, the Indian Navy is planning to induct 10 mechanised craft to enable troop landings on beaches.

A Request for Information (RFI) in this regard has been issued by the Navy in which it has asked global vendors to supply the craft within a specific time frame, Navy officials said here.

The mechanised craft would be deployed in both eastern and western sea board to support troop landings at Andaman and Nicobar islands and Lakshadweep on the western side.

The 55-tonne capacity craft can be carried on board the Navy`s five large Landing Ship Tank (LST) vessels of the Magar and Shardul class.

It can launch 150 troops and their warfare equipment, along with a T-90/T-72 battle tank, two infantry combat vehicles, two 2.5-tonne trucks or four light motor vehicles to enemy shores.

It will also be able to operate out of Landing Pontoon Dock INS Jalashwa, which was procured by the Indian navy for its amphibious operations.

"The craft could be used for multiple operations ranging from troop landing to rescue operations at the enemy shores.

Besides carrying troops, it must also carry their material to suit day and night operations," an official said.

The craft with its twin diesel engines can go up to 25 knots in speed with full cargo load.

The water jet based engines can support the 23 metre long vessel till 200 nautical miles from the shore.

The vessel should be suitable for all kinds of day and night operations and as per Navy`s requirement should have two mounted heavy machine guns with hands-free communication sets.

For protection of the troops during landing, the craft is well guarded by protective steel plates.

The tri-services Andaman and Nicobar frequently carries out exercises and war-games keeping amphibious battle zone scenarios in mind.

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