New Delhi, Feb 3: The commissioning ceremony of INS Sandhayak, the first Survey Vessel Large (SVL) ship, unfolded at the Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam, with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh lauding the Indian Navy’s role in ensuring maritime security. The event highlighted India’s commitment to naval capabilities amidst escalating geopolitical challenges and global security concerns.
Commending the Indian Navy for its prompt response in extinguishing a recent drone attack on a British ship in the Gulf of Aden, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh emphasized the nation’s commitment to maintaining peace and security not only for itself but also for friendly countries. He noted the Navy’s successful interventions in averting piracy attempts, assisting ships attacked by drones and missiles, and rescuing fishermen and marines.
Rajnath Singh praised the Indian Navy for averting five piracy attempts and assisting ships attacked by drones and missiles in the last few days, in addition to rescuing 80 fishermen/marines.
Addressing the gathering, Rajnath Singh stated, “The Indian Navy in the Indian Ocean region is facilitating safe trade, while ensuring peace and prosperity. Many defence experts are calling this the rise of a superpower. This is our culture - to protect everyone.” He underscored India’s growing power and determination to eradicate anarchy, emphasizing the nation’s stand on maintaining freedom of navigation, trade, and commerce among different countries.
Highlighting the significance of the Indian Ocean in global trade, the defence minister acknowledged choke points like the Gulf of Aden, which pose threats, particularly from pirates. Rajnath Singh assured that maritime piracy and smuggling would not be tolerated, emphasizing it as the pledge of ‘New India.’
Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar, speaking at the ceremony, emphasized the importance of the SVL project in surveying the depths of the oceans. He highlighted the Navy’s efforts in building state-of-the-art platforms indigenously, contributing to a ‘self-reliant’ force. Admiral Hari Kumar revealed that 64 out of 66 ships and submarines under order are being built in Indian shipyards, indicating significant investment in the sector.
The commissioning ceremony marked the formal induction of INS Sandhayak, the first of four ships under the SVL Project constructed at Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata. Equipped with advanced hydrographic equipment, the ship will play a crucial role in safe marine navigation and naval operations.
‘Sandhayak’ means the one who carries out a special search. The crest depicts the sixteen points of a mariner’s compass, enclosing a ‘divider’ and an ‘anchor’ riding the sea, symbolising the charting of oceans, which is the basic role of the survey ship. The commissioning is an affirmation of India’s expertise in warship designing and construction.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh termed the commissioning as historic, expressing confidence that INS Sandhayak will strengthen India’s role as a superpower in the Indo-Pacific region. He emphasized the importance of exploring the ocean’s elements, expanding knowledge, and gathering information to fulfil strategic interests.
The event concluded with a hopeful outlook for INS Sandhayak, positioned to contribute significantly to India’s maritime capabilities and objectives in the evolving geopolitical landscape.
As India continues to strengthen its naval prowess, the commissioning of INS Sandhayak serves as a testament to the nation’s commitment to maintaining peace, security, and stability in the strategically vital Indian Ocean region.
The ship’s advanced capabilities, coupled with the dedication of the Indian Navy, position it as a key player in addressing evolving challenges and promoting maritime cooperation in the global arena.