First of the four ships under Survey Vessel (Large) project for Indian Navy launched at GRSE, Kolkata

Shambhavi Singh

New Delhi, December 5

Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata launches its first survey vessel (large)  out of 4 projects  namely ‘Sandhayak’ on 5th Oct 21, according to a press release issued by the Press Information Bureau (PIB).

The   launch ceremony was held soon after the ship was first exposed to water on Hoogly river at 14:10 hrs. The ceremony was elevated with the presence of Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt . Followed by the  naval nautical rituals and with the cantillations of Atharva Veda read by Pushpa Bhatt spouse of Ajay Bhatt the ship was ready to embark . The name holds significance as it is taken from the first ship of the former Sandhayak Class Survey Ships. The former Sandhayak as it happens was also launched at GRSE, Kolkata 44 years ago on 06 Apr 1977.   

The PIB release said that the contract for building four survey ships was signed between MoD and GRSE on 30 Oct 18 at a total cost of Rs 2435 Crs. As per build strategy adopted by GRSE, first ship is being built at GRSE Ltd and construction of balance three ships is envisaged at M/s L&T Shipbuilding, Kattupalli.

These ships will replace the existing Sandhayak Class survey ships and are equipped with new generation hydrographic equipment to collect oceanographic and geophysical data. The ships are 110 m long, 16 m wide with a deep displacement of 3300 tons and a complement of 235 personnel. The ship’s propulsion system consists of two Main Engines in twin shaft configuration and is designed for a cruise speed of 14 knots and maximum speed of 18 knots. Bow & Stern Thrusters have been catered for better manoeuvring at low speeds required during shallow water survey operations. The hull of these ships is made from indigenously developed DMR 249-A steel manufactured by Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL).

The primary role of these Survey ships would be to conduct full scale coastal and deep-water hydrographic survey of ports & harbours and determination of navigational channels/ routes. The ships would also be deployed for collecting oceanographic and geophysical data for defence as well as civil applications. In their secondary role, these ships would be capable of performing roles such as Search & Rescue and Disaster Relief, besides serving as Hospital ship with limited facilities during emergencies. The ships will have a retractable Hangar for stowage of a Utility helicopter.

Despite challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic, GRSE has made substantial progress and aims to deliver Sandhayak by October 2022. Launch of the first Survey Vessel reinforces our resolve for indigenous shipbuilding as part of our Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Make in India’, and thrust to the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. The Survey Vessels Large will have over 80% indigenous content by cost. This will also ensure that large scale defence production are executed by Indian manufacturing units thereby generating employment and capability build up within the country. It is noteworthy that 37 warships and submarines for Indian Navy are currently under various stages of construction in different shipyards within the country.

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