The Indian Navy has commissioned the INS Airavat on Tuesday. The INS Airavat, the navy’s fifth Landing Ship Tank (Large) will be commissioned at Visakhapatnam at the Eastern Naval Command.
The ship, built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders is a Shardul class vessel, an upgrade on the Magar class. The amphibious operations platform can carry 10 Main Battle Tanks, 11 Combat Trucks and 500 Troops. The ship is also an assault platform capable of operating both Sea King 42C and the indigenous Dhruv helicopters. She is fitted with two indigenous WM 18A Rocket Launchers to support successful amphibious operations and 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 Stabilization System and Smoke Curtains to impede spreading of smoke and toxic gases in case of fire. 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 HADR ( Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief) missions during natural calamities like tsunami, cyclone, earthquake etc, and can operate independently at high seas for as long as 45 days.
According to the navy, the Induction of INS Airavat adds thrust to the Indian Navy’s ongoing drive for indigenous warship production. The ship measures 125 meters in length, 17.5 meters in breadth and displaces 5655 tons.
The ship was christened and launched by Mrs. Maria Teresa Mehta, wife of the the Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta on 27 March 2006. Admiral Mehta was the Chief Guest at the commissioning ceremony.