The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced the start of construction of the fourth Survey Vessel Large (SVL), along with the second and third anti-submarine warfare shallow watercraft (ASW-SWC) ships.

It was marked by a keel laying ceremony at L&T, Kattupalli in Chennai, India on 17 June.

The keel was authenticated by Indian Navy vice chief of naval staff (VCNS) vice admiral SN Ghormade in the presence of several officials and dignitaries.

According to VCNS Ghormade, about 39 of total 41 warships of the Indian Navy, which are currently under order, are being built indigenously to support the nation’s ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives.

Under the Navy’s indigenous shipbuilding programme, the MoD signed a contract with Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) to construct four SVLs in October 2018.

GRSE later subcontracted L&T Shipbuilding to support part construction of three SVL ships and four ASW SWC ships at L&T, Kattupalli, as part of the yard’s build strategy.

Recently, GRSE launched the second SVL ship Nirdeshak (Yard 3026).

SVL ships are primarily designed to undertake deep-water and full scale coastal and deep-water hydrographic surveys and to determine navigational channels.

They will also collect oceanographic and geophysical data for defence and civil applications.

The contract for eight ASW SWC was awarded to GRSE in April 2019.

The new ASW SWC will be equipped with rockets, torpedoes, low frequency variable depth sonar (LFVDS) and hull mounted sonar (HMS).

The ships will enhance Indian Navy’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities and serve as a deterrent against submarine threats.

GRSE authenticated the keel for the first ASW SWC vessel in 2021.