The Indian Navy has deployed one of its three Shardul-class amphibious warfare ships to provide surveillance support in the Indian Ocean Region, primarily against illegal fishing and smuggling.
The ship has been to the Mauritius and is now in Seychelles. The Indian Navy’s deployment of the ship has been termed an assertive stance against China.
“The warship, during the initial phase of deployment, carried out joint Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance of Mauritius from 08-26 Mar 17 in close coordination with National Coast Guard, Mauritius. Post successful completion of joint EEZ Surveillance of Mauritius, the warship entered EEZ of Seychelles on 27 Mar 17 for Phase I of EEZ surveillance,” said Indian Navy official.
The 124.8-meter-long, 5600-ton INS Shardul is a Landing Ship Tank (Large) whose primary role is to transport troops, vehicles, armaments and accomplish all objectives of an amphibious operation, which includes landing of combat equipment and personnel. INS Shardul has the capability to launch and recover Marine Commandos through sea as well as by helicopters. It can attain a speed of 15.8 knots and act as a ‘hospital ship’ with facilities provided in containerized form as well as a ‘fleet tanker’ for limited mission/ exercise.