Marines: New Indian LCUs

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September 22, 2011: India is buying eight LCU (Landing Craft Utility) amphibious ships, for $58 million each. These LCUs will be designed and produced locally. They will displace 500 tons each and be capable of landing cargo and vehicles right onto a beach. LCUs have a flat bottom and a ramp built into the front of the ship, which can be dropped into shallow water to allow armored vehicles or tanks to leave the ship and move right onto the beach, or a pier. The design of the new Indian LCU has not been revealed, but a 500 ton LCU would likely (based on existing LCUs in that weight class) be able to carry five or six tanks, or twice that number of trucks or smaller armored vehicles. In the vehicle space, instead of vehicles, up to 24 20 foot cargo containers can be stacked. For short distances, several hundred troops can be carried. These LCUs have a crew of 12-15 sailors and can stay at sea for up to three weeks, travelling at 20 kilometers an hour.

LCUs were developed during World War II, and are still in wide use by nations that have lots of coastline, or nearby islands. That is India’s situation.

 

 


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