May its tribe increase
On January 4th, the Indian navy will commission its third landing ship tank. INS Shardul has been described as an advanced version of the Magar class of amphibious warfare vessels. The navy expects to commission two more of its class over the next two years.
The ship can carry 11 main battle tanks, 10 army vehicles and 500 troops (excluding the ship’s crew) for amphibious operations and can achieve a speed of 15.8 knots. The vessel will be capable of beaching for disembarkation of army vehicles and troops. The ship is also provided with helicopter landing facilities to accommodate the Sea King Mk.42 helicopter or the indigenously-built HAL Dhruv helicopter. Weapons onboard include surface-to-air missile & chaff launchers, a pair of WM-18 rocket launchers (manufactured by Larson & Toubro) and CRN-91 anti-aircraft guns (naval version of the 30mm Medak gun made in Secunderabad) mounted on stabilised optronic pedestals with a range of about 5 km and can fire at the rate of 500 rounds per minute. The vessels will be fitted with a propulsion remote control and battle damage control systems for efficient operation and control at sea. [Bharat-Rakshak]
Shardul is among the appropriate things India needs to project power in the Indian ocean littoral. [Related Link: The Indian navy acquired USS Trenton from the US navy in 2006. It is expected to be commissioned as INS Jalashva in April 2007]