The Indian Navy introduced ‘Ikshak ‘, the third of the four large survey vessels assigned, being constructed by GRSE/L&T was introduced at Kattupalli, Chennai, on Saturday.
She reportedly made its first contact with the Bay of Bengal at around 1040 hrs. This happened at the Launch Ceremony that VAdm MA Hampiholi graced, the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, and the Southern Naval Command, the Ministry of Defence mentioned in a statement.
The first class ship ‘Sandhayak’ was reportedly launched last 5 December last year.
Survey vessel-large (SVL) ships are expected to replace the existing Sandhayak Class survey vessels with new-generation hydrographic equipment for collecting oceanographic data. The Survey Vessel (large) ships measure 110 m in length and 16 m in width with a displacement of about 3400 tons and a complement of almost 231 personnel.
The vessel’s propulsion system comprises two Main Engines in the twin shaft model and is reportedly designed to function with a speed of nearly 14 knots and a maximum of about 18 knots.
Bow & Stern Thrusters catered for improved manoeuvring at lower speeds needed during shallow water survey expeditions. The ship’s hull is made of indigenous DMR 249 steel produced by the Steel Authority of India Limited.
With the ability to transport four Survey Motor Boats and an integral helicopter, the central role of the vessels would be to take full-scale deep-water and coastal hydrographic surveys of maritime and port channels.
The vessels would be deployed to collect geophysical and oceanographic data for defence and civil applications. In a secondary role, the ministry mentioned that the plates can now offer limited protection besides serving as hospital ships in emergencies.
Despite challenges related to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, GRSE and L&T have progressed and aim to deliver Ikshak’ by October 2023. The introduction of the third Survey Vessel reinforces the resolve to follow indigenous shipbuilding as part of the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Make in India’ and thrusts to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
The Survey Vessels Large are expected to own 80% of indigenous content. However, this will be based on their cost. This will also ensure that large-scale defence production is executed by the Indian manufacturing units, resulting in employment and capability build-up in the country.
References: India TV News, Live Mint, Tribune India