Source : Indian Defence
Mistral class LHD for Indian Navy !! French Naval Group to Assist India in the Development of Landing Platform Docks
The Indian Navy is set to receive assistance from the French Naval Group in the development of Landing Platform Docks (LPDs), a crucial addition to its naval capabilities. Currently, the Indian Navy operates only one LPD, INS ‘Jalashwa,’ which was procured from the United States in 2007. To enhance its operational capabilities, the Indian Navy plans to construct four LPDs domestically, and the French Naval Group is expected to provide technological support and design expertise for this endeavor.
The decision to develop LPDs in India stems from the Indian Navy’s experience during the 2004 tsunami, where the need for such versatile and capable vessels became evident. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the construction of four LPDs, and a recent Request for Information (RFI) was issued on August 24, 2021. The RFI outlines the requirements and specifications for the LPDs, including the anticipated delivery timeline and capabilities.
According to the RFI, the LPDs should have a maximum length of 200 meters and a maximum draught of 8 meters. They should be powered by electric propulsion, capable of sustaining speeds of 20 knots or above, and have a cruise speed of 14-16 knots. Additionally, the LPDs should have the capacity to embark and sustain a body of troops at sea for extended periods, transport and discharge combat cargo, and facilitate multiple means of ship-to-shore movement of troops and cargo.
The RFI also specifies the armament and defensive systems required for the LPDs, including 32 Vertical Launch Short Range Surface-to-Air Missiles (VLSRSAM) and 16 ship-launched anti-ship missiles. The LPDs should be equipped with four AK-630 Close-In Weapons Systems (CIWS) guns, six heavy machine guns, and directed energy weapons. They should also feature chaff launching systems for counter-measures and long-range acoustic devices.
Endurance and crew capacity are also important considerations. The LPDs should have a 10,000 nautical mile endurance at economical speed with a reserve fuel capacity of 25 percent. They should be able to stay at sea for a minimum of 45 days in terms of machinery and fuel. The LPDs are expected to accommodate a crew of 530, including officers and sailors, as well as 900 troops. Facilities for women officers and sailors are also required, with provisions for 20 percent women officers and 15 percent women sailors.
The LPDs should have the capability to accommodate heavy lift helicopters, special operations helicopters, and naval shipborne unmanned aerial systems. The design should include a through deck, hangar capacity for helicopters and unmanned systems, and a well dock capable of operating at speeds of up to five knots. The LPDs should also have vehicle decks for parking combat vehicles, ample cargo space, and warehouse stowage for supplies.
Apart from their military role, the LPDs are expected to act as command centers for various task forces, support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions, and serve as a mother ship for unmanned vehicles and platforms. They should also provide medical facilities for the treatment of battle casualties.
The collaboration between the Indian Navy and the French Naval Group signifies a significant step toward strengthening India’s naval capabilities and fostering defense cooperation between the two nations. The involvement of the French Naval Group, renowned for its expertise in shipbuilding and naval technologies, will contribute to the successful development of the LPDs in India. Mistral class LHD for Indian Navy Mistral class LHD for Indian Navy Mistral class LHD for Indian Navy Mistral class LHD for Indian Navy Mistral class LHD for Indian Navy Mistral class LHD for Indian Navy IgMp