Admiral Sureesh Mehta, AVSM, PVSM, ADC, Chief of the Naval Staff arrived Visakhapatnam, on a two day visit to Eastern Naval Command. During his stay here, he will be the Chief Guest at the Commissioning Ceremony of Indian Navy’s sixth Landing Ship Tank (Large) Airavat, scheduled to take place on 19 May 09, at IN Jetty at Naval Base, Visakhapatnam.
Yard 3016, christened and launched by Mrs. Maria Teresa Mehta at Kolkota on 27 Mar 06,the ship is to be commissioned as ‘INS Airavat’ on Tuesday, 19 May 09. The ship was formally handed over to the Indian Navy on 30 Mar 09 at M/s Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited, Kolkota - A notable achievement. 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, she is a further upgrade on the Magar Class (the First LST (L)) in her 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. She 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 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 dayslink