Defence News: You might’ve heard the news earlier about the Navy being interested in LPD (landing platform Docks). Well the Indian Navy hopes to close the LDP contract this year. That should see four 20,000 tonnes behemoths sail out with pride from our own shipyards. “If all goes well, then the Navy is expected to close the LPD contract by end of this year,” Vice Admiral DM Deshpande, Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition, Indian Navy, said in New Delhi. (Sputnik news)
Above: BPC Dixmude – A Mistral class amphibious assault ship and potential LPD candidate for the Indian Navy
Called the “Multi-Role Support Vessel “, These ships will serve to enhance the Andaman and Nicobar Command. Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) is being developed into a major Amphibious Warfare Hub for Indian Navy and it is considered crucial to counter China’s strategic moves in the Indian Ocean as well as ensure security of sea lanes.
Reliance defence and engineering and L&T have submitted commercial bids with MoD. L&T uses its Navantia tie up (spain) and Reliance is partnering with DCNS of France for technologies required for the project. The Navy has specified that the LDP should have a draft no more than 8 meters in full load conditions and should not be more than 215 meters long. They should be able to carry 6 MBTs (main battle tanks), 20 IFVs (infantry fighting vehicles) and 40 trucks apart from 1430 personnel, 900 troops and 470 sailors.
Navy is strengthening it’s amphibious warfare capabilites against a backdrop of China gaining influence in Indian ocean region. Indian Navy is operating a US refurbished “jalashwa” LPD which it got in 1997. India also has 9 tank landing ships in 5-6000 tonne range. They are old and we need new and more capable LPDs. The old LPDs Shardul and Magar class can carry 10 armoured vehicles, 11 armoured personnel carriers and more than 500 troops.
Chinas has 4 LPDs each in 25000 tonnes however Indian LPDs will carry more vehicles and troops. China has type 071 with capacity of 500–800 troops, and 15–20 amphibious armoured vehicles. Troops and equipment can be deployed over longer distances and to more difficult terrain by hovercraft and helicopters. 2 more ships are under construction by China. India is likely to equip the floating bases with helicopters, CIWS (Close In Weapon System), point missile defence, Machine guns and torpedo decoy system. It is also envisioned with a hospital on board and will be tasked with Conducting maritime surveillance, special operations, search and rescue, medical support and humanitarian aid.