The ship will strengthen India’s role as a superpower in the Indo-Pacific region
INS Sandhayak, the first of four next-generation under-sea Survey Vessel Large (SVL), was commissioned into the Indian Navy in the naval dockyard Visakhapatnam on Saturday, in the presence of Defence Minister RajnathSingh. The ship can scan ocean depths up to 11,000 feet and carries the latest equipment to read undersea topography for submarine operations.
The ship’s primary role is to carry out full-scale hydrographic surveys of ports, harbours, navigational channels, routes, coastal areas, and deep seas to enable safe marine navigation. In its secondary role, the ship will be capable of undertaking a range of naval operations.
Asserting that the SVL ship will play a crucial role in gathering extensive information about the oceans and fulfilling the dual goals of safeguarding the nation and others, the Defence Minister warned those engaged in maritime piracy and smuggling would face zero tolerance.
“The biggest threat is from pirates. Those involved in maritime piracy and smuggling will not be tolerated under any circumstances,” Singh said.
Describing the Indian Ocean as a hotspot hub for global trade, Singh highlighted many choke points in the Indian Ocean, such as the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Guinea, where a significant volume of international trade occurs. Addressing the challenges posed at these choke points, he particularly emphasised the threat of piracy, citing attempted hijackings of merchant vessels in the Arabian Sea. The Minister commended the courage and swift actions of the Indian Navy in rescuing ships from pirate incidents.
“INS Sandhayak will further strengthen India’s role as a superpower in the Indo-Pacific region and help the Indian Navy in maintaining peace and security,” said Singh in his address. According to him, the country is marching ahead on the path of development with a more than ever strong Navy, providing security in the Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific region as the first responder.
INS Sandhayak is the first of the four such ships being made by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata. This project was steered by the Warship Design Bureau of the Indian Navy. The keel was laid on 12 March 2019, and the ship was launched on 5 December 2021. It has undergone a comprehensive schedule of trials in the harbour and at sea leading up to commissioning.
It has a displacement of 3,400 tons and a length of 110 metres with a beam of 16 m, equipped with state-of-the-art hydrographic equipment, including deep sea and shallow water multibeam echo sounders, autonomous underwater vehicles and others.
Side scan sonars, data acquisition and processing system, remotely operated vehicle, data acquisition and processing system and other advanced features are also a part of INS Sandhayak, which contains 80 per cent indigenous content.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar stated that the SVL project highlights the growing importance attached by the government and the Navy to the quintessential prerequisite to operating at sea – a survey of the unfathomable depths of the oceans. Its induction underscores the nation’s growing maritime interests and capabilities.