These amphibious vessels are used by the Navy to transport land warfare assets like tanks, helicopters and other vessels into a war zone and also transport troops.
By October 20, 2021, Indian shipyards are expected to respond to the Ministry of Defence’s Request for Information (RFI) for four Landing Platform Docks (LPDs) for the Indian Navy. These amphibious vessels are used by the Navy to transport land warfare assets like tanks, helicopters and other vessels into a war zone and also transport troops.
Last week, the acquisition process was started again for the USD 3 billion LPDs under the new procurement rules. And for this acquisition RFI has been sent to registered Indian shipyards including Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE), Mazagon Dock and Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), and the private sector Larsen & Toubro Shipbuilding. Attempts to procure the LPDs have been made for almost seven years now.
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According to the RFI, the delivery of the first vessel from the time of the agreement signed is maximum of 60 months and one vessel every 12 months.
Requirements as per RFI
The RFI has asked all the bidders to get technology and design from an OEM from countries like Germany, France, Russia and Spain.
There is also a condition that the platform which will be built in India should have indigenous content as per the guidelines.
According to the RFI that was issued on August 24, 2021 and is available in the public domain, “The LPDs for the Indian Navy should have the capability to transport and land ashore a combined arms force. It should have the capability to sustain operations ashore.”
As per the RFI, these amphibious ships are to be fitted with an Electric Propulsion (Integrated Full Electric Propulsion/ Hybrid Propulsion) System.
What kind of weapons will be onboard?
These four LPDs are expected to be equipped with 16 anti-ship missiles and 32 Vertical Launch – Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VLSRSAM).
Onboard there should be 6 HMGs with stabilized gun control stations/ SRCGs, 4 x AK 630 CIWS with electro optical fire control system, and 8 MMGs.
The new LPDs as and when are inducted in the Indian Navy will be undertaking Out of Area Contingencies (OOAC) and will act as Command Centre for the Commander, the Air Force Commander, Amphibious Task Force, Landing Force Commander and also undertake Disaster Relief missions and Humanitarian Assistance.
These vessels will not only provide medical facilities to the battle casualties but will also be the mother ship for unmanned capability.
As has been reported earlier, last October, after almost seven years the 2013 tender which was issued for building the LPDs in India was scrapped. The 2013 tender had specifications for LPDs as mentioned in 2006.
The Indian Navy has one LPD, the INS Jalashwa, which is an Austin-class amphibious transport dock and it had been procured in 2007 from the US.