Report: Indian Amphibious Warship Runs Aground

February 3, 2014 2:48 PM
An undated photo of the amphibious warship INS Gharial (L 23). Global Security Photo
An undated photo of the amphibious warship INS Gharial (L 23). Global Security Photo

An Indian Navy amphibious warship was grounded on the eastern shore of the country last week adding another entry to a long line of mishaps for the service in the last several months.

An unidentified Magar-class Landing Ship Tanker (LST) — one of five similar ships in service with the Indian Navy — ran aground near the city of Vishakhapatnam on India’s eastern coast, according to the Press Trust of India that cites unnamed sources in a Sunday report.

The grounding of the ship has prompted an inquiry inside the Indian Navy, according to sources.

View Amphibious Warship Grounding in a larger map

The extent of the damage is unknown.

The first two ships in the class are based on the U.K.’s 1960s era Sir Lancelot-class (also called Round Table) and are designed to land up to 10 tanks and 11 armored personnel carriers (APC) on shore. The Indians restarted the line — called the Shardul-class — in 2004 and commissioned three more ships of the 5,655 ton ships with similar characteristics.

Both types of ships have a door in the bow and can beach themselves to allow the transfer of troops and material onshore.

INS Gharial (L 23) ran aground in 1999 resulting in minor damage to the ship, according to the entry in the Naval Institute’s Guide to Combat Fleets of the World.

News of the grounding comes at a bad time for the Indian Navy.

In August a fire aboard the submarine INS Sindhurakshak during a maintenance period killed 18 sailors and resulted in the loss of the ship. Mine sweeper INS Konkan also caught fire in December while in port. Frigate INS Betwa also recently suffered damage on an operational deployment requiring it to enter drydock.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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