India will commission its latest survey vessel, the Sandhayak (Y-3025) on 3 February 2024, adding to India’s capability for full scale hydrographic surveys of the seabed in ports and harbours, as well as navigational channels, in environments ranging from narrow channels to the deep seas.
In addition auto its survey capability, which has an important role in seabed warfare, as a secondary role the Sandhayak functions as a hospital ship during defence and emergency operations.
The Sandhayak was the first of four Survey Vessel (Large) ships to be delivered to the Indian Navy, transferring to the service from Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) on 4 December, 2023. The Contract for the class of ships was signed on 30 October, 2018. The Sandhayak shares its name with a predecessor ship, decommissioned on 4 June, 2021.
The ship is 110 metres in length, displacing 3400 tons and has a top speed in excess of 18 knots, under power from two diesel engines. In keeping with India’s drive towards indigenisation, 80% of the ship’s content was produced domestically.
The keel of the ship was laid on 12 March, 2019, and the ship was launched on 5 December 2021, making for a production time of two years and nine months, under guidance from the Warship Design Bureau of the Indian Navy. A statement from India’s Press Information Bureau credits a number of stakeholders in Indian industry and medium and small enterprises with performing successful induction of the Sandhayak, despite geopolitical challenges and the coronavirus pandemic.
The Sandhayak is equipped with state-of-the-art hydrographic equipment including Deep & Shallow Water Multi-Beam Echo-Sounders, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Remotely Operated Vehicle, Side Scan Sonars, Data Acquisition and Processing System, satellite-based positioning systems and terrestrial survey equipment.
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This equipment serves the ship’s primary function of deep-water hydrographic surveys for ports and harbours and the determination of navigational routes, with a zone of operation that extends to the continental shelf.