New Delhi/Kolkata: Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE), a PSU under the Ministry of Defence, topped off the year 2020 with the delivery of the 'Last of Eight LCU Project,' IN LCU L-58 (Yard 2099), and started the production of the first ship of 'Eight ASWSWC Project.'
GRSE delivered IN LCU L-58 (Yard 2099), the eighth and last in the series of Landing Craft Utility Ships, to the Indian Navy, the company said in an official statement on Thursday. This ship is the 106th warship built and delivered by GRSE so far, since its inception in 1960, the highest number of warships delivered by any Indian shipyard till date.
The protocol of delivery and acceptance have been signed between GRSE Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) Rear Admiral (Retd) VK Saxena and Lt Cdr Krishan Kumar Yadav in the presence of GRSE's Director (Shipbuilding) Cmde (Retd) Sanjeev Nayyar, Director (Personnel) Cmde PR Hari and Director (Finance) RK Dash and other senior officials of GRSE and Indian Navy.
The LCU is the third ship delivered by GRSE in 2020, no mean feat considering the operational constraints imposed by the global pandemic of COVID-19. The shipyard has delivered 14 ships in the last 42 months which clocks an average of three months per ship. The complete design of the LCU Mark IV ships has been developed in-house by GRSE as per requirements specified by the Indian Navy, which necessitates a unique design with no precedence worldwide.
The 62.8-metre-long and 11-metre-wide LCU has a displacement of 830 T and can achieve a speed of 15 knots. The LCU is designed to accommodate 216 personnel and is equipped with two indigenous CRN-91 guns to provide artillery fire support during landing operations. The ship is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and advanced systems like the Integrated Bridge System (IBS) and the Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS). In line with the government's 'Make In India' initiative towards self-reliance and indigenisation, the LCU Mark IV Class of Ships are fitted with close to 90 percent indigenous equipment fit and multiple innovations.
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LCU L-58, which was delivered by GRSE on Thursday to the Indian Navy, shall join the fleet of ships at Andaman & Nicobar Command. The Andaman & Nicobar Archipelago, whilst acting as the extended arms of India, straddle one of the busiest trade routes in the world, leading into the South China Sea and keeping the islands safe is one of the chief responsibilities of the Indian Navy. The eight LCUs with high military lift capabilities built by GRSE shall form the backbone of maritime security cover and HADR activity in the A&N Archipelago, said GRSE.
GRSE is also currently executing three major projects of the Indian Navy pertaining to the construction of three stealth frigates, four survey vessel (large) ships and eight anti-submarine warfare shallow water crafts (ASWSWCs). The last two projects have been won on competitive bidding.
The day is also the ‘Start Production’ Day for the first of eight ASWSWCs, which is the first milestone in shipbuilding and signifies the commencement of vessel construction after the design engineering phase. The compact and complex stealth crafts are designed by GRSE. The platforms will be packed with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors like hull-mounted sonar, towed sonar, torpedo launchers and rocket launcher to interdict and destroy sub-surface targets in coastal waters. The crafts are capable of ‘search & rescue’ and ‘low intensity maritime operations’ and are propelled by water-jets, capable of doing high speeds.
Since its takeover by the government in 1960, GRSE has delivered high-end warships ranging from fast patrol vessels, survey vessels, LSTs, LCUs, fleet tanker, frigates and missile & ASW Corvettes. The shipyard also has the distinction of achieving over 90 percent indigenous content, onboard ASW corvettes, a significant advancement towards self-reliance in state-of-the-art warship design and construction. Having modernised its infrastructure facilities, GRSE is using advanced modular integrated shipbuilding technology in line with the best in the world. This has helped enhance its capacity to the present level of constructing 20 warships concurrently. On December 14, GRSE created history with the launching of the first of three stealth frigates, 'Himgiri,' under the prestigious Project 17A.
The shipyard has a healthy order book of over Rs 26,000 crore for the construction of 15 warships of the Navy to be completed progressively by the year 2027. GRSE has also diversified into the ‘engineering’ business and more than 5,300 portable steel bridges have been supplied to the Indian Army, Border Road Organisation (BRO) and the state governments. These bridges have also been exported to friendly neighbourhood countries, including, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. GRSE also undertakes production of deck machinery items which are fitted on GRSE-built ships, as well as those built by other shipyards in the country. Assembly, testing and overhauling of MTU Diesel Engines is undertaken at GRSE’s Diesel Engine Plant at Ranchi.
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