INS Sandhayak – 20 year long journey almost to an end

-Admin Alpha Mariner

After having served the Indian Navy for two decades, finally INS Sandhayak will be relieved of her service. Built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers and commissioned into the Indian Navy’s Eastern naval Command  at Visakhapatnam in 2001, INS Sandhayak (J18) is the lead ship of its class. She is the Indian Navy’s fifth hydrographic survey ship in that series which was indigenously designed and constructed.With her wide range of surveying equipment she was able to meet the ISO 9002 digital survey standards.

About INS Sandhayak

A hydrographic survey vessel of displacement 1929 long tons, she is 87.8 m long and 12.8 m wide. Operating at the design draft of 3.3 m, she could hit decent speeds of 16 knots. At a speed of 10 knots, she has a range of about 26000 km. She is home to 18 officers and 160 enlisted crew. She has a 40 mm Bofors gun for self defence and also has a deck helipad for HAL Chetak. She is also equipped with four survey motor boats and two small boats. She is powered by two diesel engines

Equipped with a range of surveying equipment she is capable of carrying out both shallow coastal and deep oceanic hydrographic survey to collect oceanographic and geophysical data. The surveying systems provided onboard include:

  • Multi-beam swath echo sounding system
  • Differential GPS
  • Motion sensors
  • Sea gravimeter
  • Magnetometer
  • Side scan SONARs
  • Oceanographic sensors
  • Automated data logging system
  • Digital Survey and processing system
  • Sound velocity profiling system

She is also equipped with ROV, AUV and USVs to carry out surveys.

INS Sandhayak key services

Using these systems, she carried out hydrographic surveys, nautical chart preparation, with cartography and training. In 2013, she updated the charts of the islands of Andaman & Nicobar island after the drastic hydrological changes post 2004 tsunami.

The search for the missing Dornier

She was also successful in detecting the beacon signals and locating the missing Dornier 228 aircraft. Her survey in 2016 off the coast of Rameswarm helped find a new seaway that allows larger ships to traverse the narrow Palk strait.

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