The Indian Navy is planning to acquire six new survey ships to bolster its hydrographic facilities as the force continues to provide its services to neighbours in the Indian Ocean region.

India’s chief hydrographer Vice Admiral BR Rao said the ships will be built at Indian shipyards and will be equipped with the latest maps and advanced equipment.

The National Hydrographic Office in Dehradun, India, will prepare nautical charts for seas in its region and is also in the process of preparing electronic navigational charts from the traditional paper-based material.

The electronic charts have a validity period after which they have to be repurchased and can also be obtained through web-based applications.

India’s current fleet strength of eight will increase to 12 by 2014, after deinduction of two aging ships, according to the Hindu.