India is making 4 LPD worth $2.6 billion
The Indian Navy has floated a US $2.6 billion domestic tender for construction of four landing platform docks (LPDs) and bids were sent to domestic shipyards, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering, and ABG Shipyard. A senior Navy planner said the service will select a winning design based on the low bidder. State-owned Hindustan Shipyard Ltd. (HSL) then will build two LPDs based on that design and the winning company will build two. This will be India’s first attempt to build the 20,000-ton vessels.
Limiting involvement to only domestic shipyards, despite having no experience in building LPDs, is welcomed by analysts. “This is an extremely wise decision; LPDs are relatively less sophisticated than high-end destroyers and provide a perfect opportunity for domestic private industry to upgrade their skills in warship construction. Private shipyards which have made huge investments in developing modern state-of-the-art shipyards will be able to prove their credentials for undertaking larger and more sophisticated projects,” said Anil Jai Singh, retired Indian Navy commodore and defense analyst.
The LPD tender states the ship should be no more than 215 meters long and have a draft not to exceed 8 meters, in full load conditions. The ship will be powered by electric propulsion systems and have an endurance of 45 days with a maximum sustained speed of not less than 20 knots. The LPD should be able to carry six main battle tanks, 20 infantry combat vehicles and 40 heavy trucks.
The ship also should be equipped with a point defense missile system, the close-in weapon system, an anti-torpedo decoy system, a chaff system, and heavy and light machine guns. Special operation helicopters and large helicopters, up to 35 tons, will operate from the ship. The LPD should be able to accommodate 1,430 personnel, including 60 officers, 470 sailors and 900 troops.