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Indian Navy Launches Third Survey Vessel “Ikshak”

L&T and GRSE have made substantial progress and aim to deliver "Ikshak" by October 2023

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

INDIA. Mumbai: “Ikshak,” the third of the four large survey vessels (SVL) being built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) and L&T for the Indian Navy, was launched on Saturday at Kattupalli, Chennai.

She made her first contact with water from the Bay of Bengal at 1040 hrs. at the launch ceremony graced by Vice Admiral MA Hampiholi, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command.

In keeping with the naval maritime tradition, Madhumati Hampiholi, spouse of Vice Admiral M A Hampiholi, launched the ship to the chanting of an invocation from the Atharva Veda.

The ship has been named “Ikshak,” which means “guide,” and it signifies the contribution of the Survey ships towards facilitating safe passage for Mariners at Sea, an official statement read.

A contract for building four SVL ships was signed between the Ministry of Defense and GRSE, Kolkata, on October 30, 2018 for a total cost of Rs 24,355 crore.

As per the build strategy adopted by GRSE, the first ship is being built at GRSE, Kolkata, and the construction of the other three ships (up to outfitting stage) has been subcontracted to M/s L&T Shipbuilding, Kattupalli.

The first ship of this class, “Sandhayak,” was launched on December 5, 2021, at M/s GRSE, Kolkata.

SVL ships will replace the existing “Sandhayak” class survey ships fitted with new generation hydrographic equipment to collect oceanographic data.

The large survey vessels are 110 m long and 16 m wide, with a deep water displacement of 3400 tonnes and a complement of 231 personnel. 

The propulsion system of the ship comprises two main engines in twin shaft configuration and is designed with a cruise speed of 14 knots and a maximum speed of 18 knots.

Bow and Stern Thrusters have been modified for better manoeuvrability at the low speeds required during shallow water survey operations.

The hull of these ships is made from indigenously developed DMR 249-A steel manufactured by Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL)

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 to collect 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, L&T and GRSE have made substantial progress and aim to deliver “Ikshak” by October 2023.

The large survey vessels will have over 80% indigenous content by cost. This will also ensure that large-scale defence production is executed by Indian manufacturing units, thereby generating employment and building up capability within the country, the statement read.

Also Read: Second Stealth Guided Missile Destroyer, Project 15B Joins the Indian Navy

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  • Raju Vernekar
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    Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

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