Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), under the ministry of defence, has emerged as the lowest bidder with Rs 2,500-crore bid for four vessels for the Indian Navy. GRSE became the L1 bidder beating infra major Larsen & Toubro. “The bids for the programme were opened on Monday for four vessels which are for the hydrographic branch of the Indian Navy. These vessels are expected to be designed in-house,” sources told Fe. The engines for the vessels are most likely to be imported, they further added. GRSE’s bid of Rs 520 crore for each vessel bettered L&T’s quote of Rs 742 crore, which was almost 43% higher.
The other shipyards who had responded to the RFP in 2015 were Hindustan Shipyard Rs 563 crore per vessel, Goa Shipyard Rs 568 crore, Cochin Shipyard Rs 573 crore and Shoft Shipyard Rs 670 crore.
GRSE will deliver the first vessel three years after the deal is signed and the rest of the vessels subsequently every one year thereafter.
Senior officers told Fe, “The plan is to completely revamp the hydrographic branch. Apart from meeting its own requirements, the navy also helps the friendly neighbouring countries in carrying out hydrographic surveys which are critical for maritime operations.”
The survey vessel is any type of ship or boat that is used for mapping. It is a type of research vessel. The basic task of survey vessels is to map the bottom, benthic zone, full water column and surface for the purpose of hydrography, general oceanography, marine habitats, salvage, dredging and marine archaeology.
The Indian Navy already has a fleet of 10 research and survey vessels in service in three different class namely: Sagardhwani Class (2 vessels), Sandhayak Class (7 vessels) and Makar Class (1 vessel).
These vessels undertake surveys of maritime limits up to EEZ/extended continental shelf and collection of oceanographic and geophysical data for defence applications.
In a secondary role, the Navy had specified that the ships should be able to perform limited defence roles in an emergency (suitable arrangements for installation of CRN 91 gun with optronic pedestal or as indicated by the Indian Navy), limited search and rescue capability, limited ocean research capability and hospital ship/casualty holding ship.
The ships are required to have single hull construction with welded steel, endurance of 6,500 nm at economical speed (14-16 knots), a maximum speed of 18 knots and cruising speed of 16 knots. The navy has also stipulated that the ships should be capable of operating one single-engine rotary wing aircraft, retractable hangar for the full stowage of the aircraft.