This survey ship is capable of full-scale coastal and deep-water hydrographic survey of port and harbour approaches as well as the determination of navigation channels and routes

New Delhi: Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Limited, achieved yet another milestone on Monday, by delivering the INS Sandhayak, the largest survey vessel ever built in India and the first in the series of four Survey Vessels (Large) being built by it, to the Indian Navy. INS Sandhayak (Yard 3025) was launched by Pushpa Bhatt, wife of Ajay Bhatt Raksha Rajya Mantri on Monday.

The protocol of delivery and acceptance was signed between GRSE's Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) Cmde PR Hari IN (Retd) and Commanding Officer of the vessel, Cmde RM Thomas in the presence of Rear Admiral Nelson D’Souza, NM, CSO (Tech), Director (Finance) RK Dash, Cdr S Bose, IN (Retd), Director (Shipbuilding) and DIG S Ghosh, ICG (Retd), Director (Personnel) and other Senior Officials of GRSE and Indian Navy.

What makes the event more significant is the fact that the Indian Navy celebrates December 4 as the Navy Day. GRSE has partnered with the Indian Navy for the last 62 years after delivery of the first indigenously-built warship INS Ajay in 1961. Since then, GRSE has delivered 70 more warships to the Indian Navy.

Delivery of a 110-metre-long warship of the quality of the INS Sandhayak is no mean feat, particularly when no platform of its kind has ever been built in India. What is remarkable is that GRSE continued to work on this ship even during the pandemic years.

The INS Sandhayak is the lead vessel in a series of four Survey Vessels (Large) or SVLs and is actually the reincarnation of another ship by that name. That ship – also a survey vessel – was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1981 and decommissioned in 2021. The new INS Sandhayak and the remaining ships of the series are far more advanced than their predecessors that have all been decommissioned.

These survey ships are capable of full-scale coastal and deep-water hydrographic survey of port and harbour approaches as well as the determination of navigation channels and routes. In addition, the Sandhayak-class of SVLs can undertake surveys of maritime limits and collection of oceanographic and geographical data for defence applications. Such data adds muscle to India’s maritime capabilities. These ships can also carry a helicopter each, participate in low-intensity combat and function as hospital ships. They can also be used for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations.

Propelled by two marine diesel engines combined with fixed-pitch propellers and fitted with bow and stern thrusters to help the ships manoeuvre at low speeds during surveys, they are ideally suited to carry out their designated operations. Fully designed by GRSE’s Design Team to meet the requirements of the Indian Navy, the INS Sandhayak was built using ‘Integrated Construction’ technology. This was in compliance with applicable provisions and regulations of the Classification Society (IRS).

GRSE CMD lauded the effort put in by team GRSE, the Indian Navy and all the other stakeholders and said “We are proud to deliver this ship on the Navy Day and we are confident to deliver the balance three ships of the SVL project as per the committed timelines”.

At the moment, GRSE is building 18 more warships for the Indian Navy, including three 17A Advanced Frigates, eight Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft and four Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels.