India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has launched a new testing and evaluation facility for sonar systems of the Indian Navy.

Announced by the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD), the new facility is now operational at DRDO’s Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) in Kochi, Kerala, India.

This newly launched facility is named as Hull Module of Submersible Platform for Acoustic Characterisation and Evaluation (SPACE).

The design of this facility is based on the concept, design and requirements proposed by the NPOL.

The SPACE facility will primarily test and assess sonar systems aboard different types of naval vessels, such as submarines, warships and maritime aircraft or helicopters.

The centre will also allow rapid deployment and easy recovery of other scientific packages, including transducers and sensors.

The new ‘one-of-a-kind’ facility is a submersible platform that can reach up to the depths of around 100m.

In a statement, Indian MoD said: “The uniqueness of this facility lies in the specially designed submersible platform, which can be lowered up to depths of 100m using a series of synchronously operated winches.”

The SPACE facility has been constructed by the Indian company Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Shipbuilding in Chennai.

According to the MoD, the design and construction of the SPACE facility complies to all the statutory needs and requirements of the Indian Register of Shipping.

Furthermore, the platform also adheres to the needs of the vessel classifying authority as well as the inspection and registration criteria set by the Kerala Inland Vessel Rules.

This new facility has further boosted the Government of India’s ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives.

Earlier this year, the MoD contracted L&T to build two multi-purpose vessels for the service.