Wed, 08 Feb 2023

Kattupalli (Tamil Nadu) [India], November 27 (ANI): The Indian Navy launched 'Ikshak', the third of the four survey vessels (Large) project, built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) and Larson and Toubro (LT) on Saturday at Kattupalli, Chennai.

"The survey vessel made her first contact with the water of the Bay of Bengal at 10:40 am at the Launch Ceremony graced by the VAdm MA Hampiholi, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Southern Naval Command," said the ministry of Defence.

In keeping with the Naval maritime tradition, Madhumati Hampiholi, spouse of VAdm MA Hampiholi, launched the ship to the chanting of invocation from Atharva Veda. The ship has been named 'Ikshak' which means 'Guide'. The ship has been named to signify the contribution of the Survey ships towards facilitating safe passage for Mariners at Sea.

The contract for building four SVL ships was signed between MoD and Garden Reach ShipbuildersEngineers (GRSE), Kolkata on 30 Oct 18 for a total cost of Rs 2435 Cr. As per the build strategy adopted by GRSE, the first ship is being built at GRSE, Kolkata and the construction of the balance three ships (upto the outfitting stage) has been subcontracted to M/s LT Shipbuilding, Kattupalli. The first class ship 'Sandhayak' was launched on December 5 2021, at M/s GRSE, Kolkata, by Pushpa Bhatt, wife of Ajay Bhatt, MoS, who was the Chief Guest for the Launching Ceremony.

SVL ships will replace the existing Sandhayak Class survey ships with new-generation hydrographic equipment to collect oceanographic data. The Survey Vessel (Large) ships are 110 m long, and 16 m wide with a deep displacement of 3400 tons and a complement of 231 personnel. The propulsion system of the ship consists of two Main Engines in twin shaft configuration and is designed with a cruise speed of 14 knots and a maximum speed of 18 knots. BowStern 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 the Steel Authority of India Limited.

With the 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 the COVID-19 pandemic, LT and GRSE have made substantial progress and aim to deliver 'Ikshak' by October 2023. The launch of the third Survey Vessel reinforces our resolve for indigenous shipbuilding as part of our Prime Minister's vision of 'Make in India', and thrusts to the vision of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'. The Survey Vessels Large will have over 80 per cent 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. (ANI)

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