‘Nirdeshak, the second of the four Survey Vessels (Large) (SVL) projects being built by GRSE in collaboration with L&T shipbuilding for the Indian Navy was launched on 26 May 22 at Kattupalli, Chennai. She made her first contact with the water of the Bay of Bengal at 1038 hrs at the Launch Ceremony graced by the Vice Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Eastern Naval Command. In keeping with the Naval maritime tradition, Smt Sarbani Dasgupta launched the ship to the chanting of invocation from Atharva Veda.
The ship has taken its name from erstwhile Nirdeshak which was also an Indian Naval Survey ship and was decommissioned after 32 years of glorious service in Dec 2014. Part construction of three out of four ships of SVL is being undertaken at L&T, Kattupalli as part of a collaborative approach between GRSE and L&T shipbuilding. This model of Public-Private Partnership shall be a harbinger of future successful collaboration for Warship construction in India.
The contract for building four SVL ships was signed between MoD and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata on 30 Oct 18. The first of class ship ‘Sandhayak’ was launched on 05 Dec 21 at GRSE, Kolkata.
The SVL ships will replace the existing Sandhayak Class survey ships with new generation hydrographic equipment to collect oceanographic data. The Survey Vessel (Large) ships have a deep displacement of about 3400 tons and a complement of 235 personnel. The ship is designed to operate at 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.
Image Credits: @IndianNavyWith a capability to carry four Survey Motor Boats and an integral helicopter, the primary role of the ships would be to undertake full scale coastal and deep-water hydrographic surveys of Ports and navigational channels. The ships would also be deployed for collecting oceanographic and geophysical data for defence as well as civil applications. In their secondary role, the ships are capable of providing limited defence, besides serving as Hospital ships during emergencies.
Despite challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic, GRSE has made substantial progress and aim to deliver Sandhayak, the first ship of SVL by Jan 2023. The delivery of the second ship Nirdeshak is likely by Apr 2023. Launch of the second Survey Vessel reinforces our resolve for indigenous shipbuilding as part of the vision of ‘Make in India’, and ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’.
The Survey Vessels Large will have over 80% indigenous content by cost. This will also ensure that large scale defence production is executed by Indian manufacturing units thereby, generating employment and capability build up within the country.