The keel for the fourth ship of Survey Vessel (Large) and second and third ships of ASW SWC for the Indian Navy was laid on 17 June 2022 by Vice Chief of Naval Staff, VAdm S.N Ghormade at L&T, Kattupalli in the presence of DGND (SSG), RAdm G.K Harish, ACWP&A, RAdm Sandeep S Sandhu, CMD, GRSE, Cmde P R Hari (Retd), Head L&T shipbuilding, Cmde Ashok Khetan (Retd), Directors and other senior officials of the Indian Navy, GRSE and L&T.
The contract for the construction of four SVL and eight ASW SWC for the Indian Navy was awarded to GRSE as part of the indigenous shipbuilding programme in October 2018 and April 2022 respectively. As part of the yard’s build strategy, GRSE has subcontracted part construction of three ships of SVL and four ships of ASW SWC to L&T, Kattupalli.
Keel Laying is a major milestone activity in the construction of ships, symbolising the formal commencement of the erection process of the warships on the building berth.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Guest appreciated the efforts put in by both GRSE & L&T Shipyards in achieving this milestone despite multiple waves of COVID-19 and associated restrictions. He noted that laying Keel for three warships together on one day is a landmark event and this achievement signifies the enhanced indigenous production capability and capacity to ramp up the pace of warship construction in the country. He commended the commitment, dedication and professionalism displayed by employees of GRSE and L&T in achieving this significant milestone. VCNS also highlighted that construction of these vessels is a major boost for Aatmanirbhar Bharat and India’s Make in India commitment with over 80 percent of equipment and systems being indigenous. The Chief Guest highlighted that 39 out of 41 warships under order by the Indian Navy today are being built indigenously.
He also that the statistics by themselves reflected true Aatmanirbharta and strides made by all stakeholders towards Make in India. He also appreciated the collaborative approach between GRSE & L&T and opined that this model of Public-Private Partnership between GRSE & L&T will be the harbinger of more such successful collaborations between Indian Shipyards for warship construction in India.
Survey Vessel Large (SVL) ships are capable of full-scale coastal surveys, deep-water Hydrographic surveys and determination of navigational channels/routes. In addition, these platforms collect Oceanographic and Geophysical data for defence applications. State-of-the-art equipment such as Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), Single/ Multi-Beam Echo Sounders and Data Acquisition and Processing System (DAPS) are fitted onboard SVL vessels to increase the ocean research capability.
VCNS during the event highlighted that the ASW SWC platforms will augment the Navy’s ASW capability and serve as a deterrent against submarine threats. Armed with torpedoes, rockets, state-of-the-art Hull Mounted Sonar (HMS) and Low-Frequency Variable Depth Sonar (LFVDS), the ASW SWC ships will significantly enhance the Indian Navy ASW capability.