After almost a year, the Ministry of Defence has once again revived the procurement project of acquiring Landing Platform Docks (LPDs) for the Indian Navy. In a recent Request For Information (RFI), the Indian Navy has intended to procure four LPDs that can carry military assets like tanks, vessels, and aircraft from registered Indian Shipyards The Indian Navy has also specified special requirements in their RFI.
The anticipated delivery for the first vessel is a maximum of 60 months from the proposed time. From there one vessel will be required after every 12 months. The navy has asked the Vendors to indicate their comments on the build period and timelines for delivery. A landing platform dock (LPD) is also called an amphibious transport dock and is a type of amphibious warfare ship. An LPD embarks, transports, and lands elements of a landing force for expeditionary warfare missions.
The Indian Navy has only one such ship – INS Jalashwa. The Warship was commissioned in 2007 which was purchased from the US.
The Intended use of LPD (Operational Requirements of the LPD)
The Indian Navy has specified the operation requirements of the LPD and how it will serve the Indian Navy.
The statement by the Indian Navy said “The Landing Platform Dock (LPDs) should be capable to transport and land ashore a combined arms force and sustaining their operations ashore. It should also have the capacity to embark and sustain a body of troops at sea for prolonged durations, to embark, stow onboard, and discharge at the objective the full range of the combat cargo required for undertaking and sustaining the operations ashore and to enable operation of multiple means of the ship to shore movement of troops and cargo.”
The LPDs are super essential in Out of Area Contingencies (OOAC). OOAC are those military operations that are conducted beyond the borders of a country. They can transport and deploy forces ashore. LPDs’ ability to arrive quickly and sustain operations at sea for prolonged durations gives them an edge over other Warships.
“LPDs will act as Command Centre for the Commander, Amphibious Task Force, Landing Force Commander, and the Air Force Commander and also undertake Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Missions,” the statement further elaborated.
LPDs will be equipped with word-class defense technologies
The warship will be equipped with 4 AK 630 CIWS guns with Electro-Optical Fire Control System, eight medium machine guns, and six heavy machine guns with stabilized gun control stations. It will also be equipped with 16 ship-launched anti-ship missiles and 32 Vertical Launch – Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VLSRSAM).
The Maximum length of the warship will be around 200m and its maximum draught (the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull) will be 8m. Electric propulsion through shafts and propellers will power the ship. The ship will be able to sustain a speed of 20 knots or above and can cruise at the speed of 14 to 16 knots. The warship once commissioned will be able to provide logistical support to the troops for 60 days.