India has launched the second of four Survey Vessels (Large) (SVL) Nirdeshak (Yard 3026) at Kattupalli, Chennai.

The ship was built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) and L&T Shipbuilding for the Indian Navy.

The launch of the vessel was marked by a ceremony attended by Eastern Naval Command’s Flag Officer commanding in chief, vice-admiral Biswajit Dasgupta and other officials.

During the ceremony, Nirdeshak made first contact with the waters of Bay of Bengal.

The newly launched vessel derives its name from a former Indian Naval Survey ship, Nirdeshak, which was decommissioned in December 2014, after 32 years of service.

In 2018, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract with GRSE to procure four large survey vessels for the Indian Navy. GRSE later collaborated with L&T Shipbuilding to support part construction of second, third and fourth ships at L&T, Kattupalli.

The first vessel, Sandhayak, was launched in December last year at GRSE, Kolkata.

Delivery of Sandhayak is expected in January 2023 while Nirdeshak is anticipated by April 2023.

Once constructed, the four vessels will replace the existing fleet of the Indian Navy’s Sandhayak Class survey ships.

The SVL ships have new-generation hydrographic equipment which helps in collecting oceanographic data.

The vessels are primarily designed to undertake deepwater and full scale coastal hydrographic surveys of various ports and navigational channels. They will also collect oceanographic and geophysical data for defence and civil applications.

The secondary roles of the ships will include the provision of limited defence and serving as hospital ships during emergencies.

The survey vessels have a deep displacement of around 3,400t and can operate at a maximum speed of 18kt. It can also carry around four survey motorboats and an integral helicopter.