Know All About Amphibious Transport Dock?
The Indian Navy operates the INS Jalashwa, an amphibious transport dock. Before being acquired by the Indian Navy in 2005, it was known as the USS Trenton.
In 2007, it was commissioned into the Indian Navy's ranks.
On March 22, 2021, the INS Jalashwa made headlines when it arrived in Madagascar's port of Ehoala to provide humanitarian aid as part of the Sagar Mission initiative.
What is the concept of an amphibious transport dock?
Before diving into the specifics of the INS Jalashwa, it's important to understand what kind of vessel it is.
A landing platform/dock (LPD), also known as an amphibious transport dock is an amphibious warfare ship capable of embarking, carrying, and landing expeditionary warfare elements. These ships are equipped to transport troops into a warzone by sea, mainly using single landing craft but also, transport helicopters.
Amphibious transport docks combine a flight deck and a good deck that can be ballasted and deballasted to support landing craft or amphibious vehicles, similar to amphibious transports, amphibious cargo ships, and the older Dock landing ships (LSD).
Explained: INS Jalashwa
The INS Jalashwa (hippopotamus in Hindi/Sanskrit) has a well a deck that can handle up to four mechanized landing craft, which can be launched by following the good deck or lowering the ship's hinged gate aft. The INS Jalashwa can also launch helicopters from its flight deck and can accommodate approximately sex medium helicopters.
The ship can also carry over 1,000 troops and is fully equipped with medical facilities such as four operating rooms, a 12-bed ward, a laboratory, and a dental center.
The INS Jalashwa has a long and glorious history: Know about it
Following the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the Indian Navy saw a need for a more capable amphibious vessel to assist in rescue and humanitarian efforts. Its fleet of amphibious ships was inadequate for the job.
Thus, the Indian Navy declared in 2006 that it will purchase the retired Austin-class landing platform dock, USS Trenton, from the US Navy for Rs 228 crore.
The ship was bought by the Indian Navy on January 17, 2007, in Norfolk, Virginia. Commodore P Murugesan, Naval Attaché at the Indian Embassy in the United States, and Rear Admiral Garry E Hall, US Navy, signed the transfer agreement. She was then refitted until May 2007 at the Norfolk Naval Base. The Indian Navy also paid $39 million for six UH-3 Sea King maritime utility transport helicopters to operate from the ship.
Shri Ronan Sen, the Indian ambassador to the United States at the time, commissioned the ship as INS Jalashwa on June 22, 2007, in Norfolk. Her first Commanding Officer and Executive Officer were Captain BS Ahluwalia and Commander Dinesh Singh, respectively.
In Operation Secure Homecoming, the INS Jalashwa and INS Mysore were deployed to the southern Mediterranean Sea on February 26, 2011. It was carried out to evacuate Indian people who had been trapped in Libya as a result of the Libyan Civil War in 2011. Both ships were equipped with their entire air wings as well as a contingent of Marine special forces.
Over the years, the INS Jalashwa had undergone two refits. One aids in achieving higher speeds, while the other replaced its radars and sensors with indigenous equipment in 2012. The navy's reliance on US-made components was reduced as a result of its dissatisfaction with the US inspection regime.