Visakhapatnam, May 19 (ANI): Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta on Tuesday commissioned Indian Navy’s fifth Landing Ship Tank (Large) ‘Airavat’ here.
On the occasion, Mehta said the Airavat would augment the operational capabilities and reach of the Eastern Naval Command, in addition to enhancing the amphibious and disaster relief potential of the fleet.
Airavat, previously known as Yard 3016, was christened and launched by Maria Teresa Mehta in Kolkata on March 27 2006.
The ship was formally handed over to the Indian Navy on March 30, 2009 at Kolkata’s M/s Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited.
Airavat is the fifth LST (L) of the Indian Navy and third of the Shardul class. As a platform designed for amphibious operations against the enemy, it is a further upgrade on the Magar Class (the First LST (L)) in its suite of weapons, sensors and indigenous content.
With a significantly enhanced Weapon package, latest Control Systems and better Habitability conditions, Airavat delivers considerable punch and amphibious capabilities to the fighting prowess of the Indian Navy.
The ship can carry 10 Main Battle Tanks, 11 Combat Trucks and 500 Troops and has a considerable range and endurance at sea.
Besides undertaking amphibious operations, the ship is a potent assault platform capable of operating both Seaking 42C and the indigenous Dhruv helicopters.
It is fitted with two indigenous WM 18A Rocket Launchers to support successful amphibious operations. The threat from air is dealt with through two indigenous CRN 91 Anti-Aircraft Guns auto-controlled by Optronic Sights and shoulder launched IGLA Surface to-Air Missiles.
It also has soft kill ability through Chaff Rockets, which can be used to clutter the sensory inputs of an incoming enemy aircraft or missile.
The ship is fitted with Remote Propulsion Control, Battle Damage Control System and Automated Power Management System. These are fully integrated, microprocessor based, digital control systems for providing control and for monitoring ships machinery and systems.
The ship also has a microprocessor based anti-roll Flume Stabilisation System and Smoke Curtains to impede spreading of smoke and toxic gases in case of fire onboard.
In addition, the ship can act as a Fleet tanker through stern refueling of other naval vessels and as a hospital ship. The ship can be effectively tasked for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) missions during natural calamities like tsunami, cyclone, earthquake etc, and can operate independently at high seas for as long as 45 days. (ANI)