Indian state-owned shipbuilder, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE) laid the keel for the second Survey Vessel (Large) ordered by the Indian Navy during a ceremony in Kattupalli, Chennai on Dec. 1.
The “virtual” keel laying ceremony of the vessel, Yard 3026, was attended by Vice Admiral Vinay Badhwar AVSM, NM, Chief Hydrographer to the Government of India; Rear Admiral VK Saxena, IN (Retd), Chairman & Managing Director of GRSE; and other senior GRSE and Indian Navy officials.
Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd., (GRSE), Kolkata, in an impressive ceremony, laid the keel of the 2nd Survey Vessel (Large) (Yard 3026) at Kattupalli, Chennai. pic.twitter.com/tmmjPrMXW5
— GRSE – Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (@OfficialGRSE) December 1, 2020
The vessel is part of the order for four large survey vessels won by GRSE in a competitive bidding process in October 2018. The contract for four vessels was signed on Oct. 30, 2018, between GRSE and the Indian Ministry of Defence for an order value of Rs. 2435.15 crore (~USD330 million).
The new survey vessels will be 110 meters long with full load displacement of 3,300 tons. They will have a maximum speed of 18 knots, a cruising speed of 16 knots and an operational range of 6,500 nautical miles. The ships will have a crew complement of 231.
The vessels will be capable of full scale coastal and deep-water hydrographic survey of ports and harbors, approaches and determination of navigational channels/routes. In addition, the vessels will be able to undertake surveys of maritime limits up to India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)/extended continental shelf. They will be also deployed for the collection of oceanographic and geophysical data for defence applications. In their secondary role, the ships will be capable of performing limited search and rescue (SAR), limited ocean research and can operate as hospital ship/casualty holding ships.
The vessels will be equipped with state-of-the-art hydrographic survey equipment and sensors comprising of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs), Multi-Beam Echo Sounders etc. and would prove to be a gamechanger in the Indian Navy’s capabilities for coastal and deep-water hydrographic surveys aiding maritime operations. They will have a hanger to accommodate one HAL Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH).
The vessels are being built as per classification society rules and naval ship regulations and will conform to the latest MARPOL (Marine Pollution) standards of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). GRSE claims that the vessel’s hull form design imparts a superior level of operational efficiency to these vessels. The company claims that the hull form of these new generations survey vessels meets the stringent seakeeping and maneuvering requirements including helicopter operations at high sea states.