Keel for the fourth ship of Survey Vessel (Large) and second & third ships of ASW SWC for the Indian Navy was ceremoniously laid on June 17, 2022 by VAdm S.N. Ghormade, Vice Chief of Naval Staff at M/s L&T, Kattupalli in the presence of RAdm G.K. Harish, DGND (SSG), RAdm Sandeep S. Sandhu, ACWP&A, Cmde P.R. Hari (Retd), CMD, GRSE, Cmde Ashok Khetan (Retd), Head L&T shipbuilding, Directors, and other senior officials of the Indian Navy, GRSE and L&T.
The Contract for construction of four SVL and eight ASW SWC for the Indian Navy was awarded to M/s GRSE as part of indigenous shipbuilding programme in October 18 and April 22 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 M/s L&T, Kattupalli.
Keel Laying is a major milestone activity in the construction of ships, symbolising 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 of 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% of equipment and systems being indigenous. The Chief Guest highlighted 39 out of 41 warships under order by Indian Navy today are being built indigenously.
This statistics by itself is a reflection of 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 for full scale coastal survey, deep-water Hydrographic survey and determination of Navigational channels/ routes. In addition, these platforms collect Oceanographic and Geophysical data for Defence applications. State of 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 Indian Navy ASW capability.