To strengthen the Navy's amphibious capacities and in view of an ageing fleet, the government has cleared a Rs 2,176-crore acquisition of eight specialised landing craft utility (LCU) vessels, capable of "hard beaching" on enemy shores.
The proposal was cleared in a meeting of the cabinet committee on security held earlier this week. The vessels will be built by the defence undertaking, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, in Kolkata.
The eight new vessels with a displacement of around 500 tonnes will be built and delivered to the navy in the next three to four years.
The new vessels will be used to replace the existing fleet of six amphibious boats already in service, they said.
The LCU is a boat used by amphibious forces to transport equipment and troops to the shore and are capable of transporting combat vehicles and troops from amphibious assault ships to shores.
At the same time, the defence ministry is finalising another project to acquire four huge amphibious warfare ships, called Landing Platform Docks (LPDs) for "stand-off beaching", for around Rs16,000 crore.