The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced the launch of the third Survey Vessels (Large) (SVL), named Ikshak, for the Indian Navy.
The vessel is being constructed by Indian companies Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), and Larsen & Turbo (L&T) Shipbuilding.
The launch of the new vessel was marked by a ceremony held on 26 November at Kattupalli, Chennai, India.
It was attended by Southern Naval Command flag officer commanding in chief vice-admiral MA Hampiholi, and other officials.
During the traditional launch event, the new vessel Ikshak made its first contact with the waters of the Bay of Bengal.
The third SVL’s name, which means ‘guide’, signifies the crucial role of survey ships in maintaining the safety and security of the sailors at the sea.
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The initial contract for the construction of four SVL ships was awarded to GRSE by the Indian MoD in 2018.
Following this contract, the company sub-contracted L&T Shipbuilding to support part of the construction of the second, third, and fourth ships at its shipyard in Kattupalli.
Once constructed, the four ships will replace the Indian Navy’s Sandhayak-class survey ships.
The 110m-long and 16m-wide SVL feature new generation hydrographic equipment that will help in gathering oceanographic/geophysical data for defence and civil applications.
It can carry up to four survey motorboats and an integral helicopter onboard.
The ship will primarily be deployed to perform full scale hydrographic surveys of navigational channels and ports in coastal and deep-water areas.
Other roles include serving as a hospital ship in times of emergencies, and providing limited defence.