IBG NEWS Gems of Global Power Series
Reported by Suman Munshi
LAUNCH OF ‘SANDHAYAK’ (YARD 3025) FIRST VESSEL OF SURVEY VESSEL (LARGE) PROJECT for Indian Navy by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata
‘Sandhayak’, the first of the four Survey Vessels (Large) Projects being built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata for Indian Navy, was launched on 05 December 2021.
She made her first contact with the waters of Hooghly River at 1410 hours at the Launch Ceremony graced by Shri Ajay Bhatt, honorable Raksha Rajya Mantri. In keeping with the Naval maritime tradition, Srimati Pushpa Bhatt, spouse of Shri Ajay Bhatt, launched the ship to the chanting of invocation from Atharva Veda, a Holy Book of Sanatan Hindu Dharma.
The ship has taken its name from the first ship of the erstwhile Sandhayak Class Survey ships.
The erstwhile Sandhayak incidentally, was also launched at GRSE, Kolkata 44 years ago on 06 April 1977.
The contract for building four survey ships was signed between MoD and GRSE on 30 October 2018 at a total cost of Rs 2435 crores.
As per the build strategy adopted by GRSE, the first ship is being built at GRSE Ltd, and the construction of a balance of three ships is envisaged at M/s Larsen & Toubro 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 comprises two Main Engines in twin shaft configuration and is designed for a cruise speed of 14 knots and a maximum speed of 18 knots.
Bow & Stern Thrusters have been catered for better maneuvering 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 a full-scale coastal and deep-water hydrographic survey of ports & harbors and determination of navigational channels or routes.
The ships would also be deployed for collecting oceanographic and geophysical data for defense, 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 ships with limited facilities during emergencies.
The ships will have a retractable hangar for the stowage of a utility helicopter.
Despite challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic, GRSE has made substantial progress and aims to deliver Sandhayak by October 2022. The launch of the first Survey Vessel reinforces our resolve for indigenous shipbuilding as part of our Prime Ministers’ 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 defense production is executed by Indian manufacturing units, thereby generating employment and capability build-up within the country. It is noteworthy that 37 warships and submarines for the Indian Navy are currently under various stages of construction in different shipyards within the country.