Indian Navy’ s third Survey Vehicle ‘Ikshak’ has been launched on 26 Nov in Chennai which is being built by GRSE and L&T. This is the third of the third of the four Survey Vessels (Large) (SVL) Project, being built by GRSE and L&T for Indian Navy.
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.
According to the official from the Indian navy, she made her first contact with water of Bay of Bengal at 1040 hrs at the Launch Ceremony graced by the VAdm MA Hampiholi, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Southern Naval Command. 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.
Contract for building four SVL ships was signed between MoD and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata on 30 Oct 18 for a total cost of Rs 2435 Cr. As per build strategy adopted by GRSE, first ship is being built at GRSE, Kolkata and construction of balance three ships (upto outfitting stage) has been sub-contracted to L&T Shipbuilding, Kattupalli. The hull of these ships is made from indigenously developed DMR 249-A steel manufactured by Steel Authority of India Limited. The first of class ship ‘Sandhayak’ was launched on 05 Dec 21 at GRSE in Kolkata.
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, 16 m wide with deep displacement of 3400 tons and a complement of 231 personnel. Propulsion system of the ship consists of two Main Engines in twin shaft configuration and is designed with cruise speed of 14 knots and maximum speed of 18 knots.
One of the key elements of the Survey Vessel is the integration of Bow & Stern Thrusters which have been catered for better manoeuvring at low speeds required during shallow water survey operations.
With 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.
According to the statement, L&T and GRSE have made substantial progress and aim to deliver ‘Ikshak’ by Oct 2023. Indian navy said 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 thrust to the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
The Survey Vessels Large will have over 80% indigenous content by cost. Officials from the Ministry of Defence said this will also ensure that large scale defence production is executed by Indian manufacturing units.