Kolkata. 05 December 2021. Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE), a Mini Ratna Category 1 Defence PSU and a leading warship building company of India achieved another milestone today with the launch of the first Survey Vessel, in the series of four ships under the Survey Vessel (Large) project for the Indian Navy. Upholding the maritime traditions, the ship was named “Sandhayak” and “Launched” by Pushpa Bhatt, wife of Ajay Bhatt, MoS(Defence), who graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Vice Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, Vice Admiral Kiran Deshmukh, Controller of Warship Production & Acquisition, Vice Admiral Adhir Arora, Chief Hydrographer to the Govt of India, Rear Admiral Vipin Kumar Saxena (IN, Retd), Chairman & Managing Director, GRSE, Cmde Sanjeev Nayyar, IN(Retd), Director (Shipbuilding), GRSE, Cmde PR Hari, IN(Retd), Director (Personnel), GRSE, RK Dash, Director (Finance), GRSE, other Senior Officials of GRSE, Indian Armed Forces and Industry were present at the occasion.
The ceremony was conducted in true maritime traditions with the application of vermillion, breaking of coconut on the ship’s bow and chanting of vedic mantras. The ‘Launch’ symbolizes the “birth” of the ship as she makes her first contact with water and is floated out for from her building berth. For the first time, this special ceremony was also witnessed by more than 100 students from various city schools, NCC cadets and other citizens of Kolkata including revered monks from Ramakrishna Seva Pratishthan, Kolkata. This initiative under the aegis of ‘Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ activities, provided the citizens of Kolkata a glimpse of the ‘Warship’ building activity happening in their city!
These survey ships are capable of full scale coastal & deep-water hydrographic survey of Ports & Harbor approaches & determination of navigational channels & routes. In addition, these ships are also capable of undertaking survey of Maritime limits and collection of Oceanographic & Geographical data for Defence applications, thus boost the maritime capabilities of the country. These ships are propelled by two Marine Diesel Engines combined with Fixed Pitch Propellers and fitted with Bow & Stern Thrusters for maneuvering at low speeds during surveys. The ships are fully designed by the Design team of GRSE to meet the requirements of the Indian Navy and are being built & outfitted utilising the concepts of ‘Integrated Construction’ and in compliance with applicable provisions and regulations of the Classification Society (IRS).
Minister of State for Defence appreciated GRSE’s efforts and said, “Launch of first Survey Vessel (Large) ‘Sandhayak’ today reinforces our commitment for indigenous shipbuilding as part of our Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Make in India’, and thrust to the vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-reliant India). The vessel will have over 80% indigenous content by cost and this will also ensure that large scale defence production is executed by Indian manufacturing units, thereby generating employment and expertise within our country. It’s a matter of great significance that GRSE had achieved a historic milestone, when the 100th warship was delivered by the shipyard. I am confident that the shipyard will scale greater heights in years to come and realise its vision of becoming a world leader in warship building”.
Highlighting the achievement of another key milestone for the Shipyard, Rear Admiral V.K.Saxena, IN (Retd.), Chairman & Managing Director said, “The Survey Vessel (Large) is one of our proud creations for the Indian Navy and coincidentally the previous ‘Sandhayak’ class of Hydrographic Survey Ships were also built by GRSE. The first ship of that class “Sandhayak” got decommissioned in Jun 2021 after 40 years of glorious service to the nation and her name lives on in true traditions of the Indian Navy. The present survey ships are equipped with new generation hydrographic equipment and is testimony to the maturity of our indigenous construction capability towards realization of ‘Atma-Nirbharta’ (Self-reliance). The achievement of this major milestone despite challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, stands testimony to the commitment and capability of the GRSE.”
GRSE has delivered 788 platforms which include 107 warships, of which 70 were for the Indian Navy, 35 for the Indian Coast Guard, 01 for the Government of Mauritius and 01 for Seychelles Coast Guard which is the highest number of warships built & delivered by any shipyard in the country. The Shipyard is currently executing four indigenous shipbuilding projects including three Advanced Frigates under Project 17A, four Survey Vessels (Large) & eight Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts for the Indian Navy and one Fast Patrol Vessel for the Indian Coast Guard. With emphasis on exports and realigned marketing strategies, the shipyard is building ships for export to Republic of Guyana and a government agency of Bangladesh.