AGHS Makar 2
Indian Navy “Makar” class catamaran is mainly used for hydrological surveys, drawing of charts and other publications aimed at improving the safety of maritime navigation. The catamaran features a full range of marine and terrestrial measuring equipment and equipment, including automatic underwater vehicles (AUVs), remotely operated submersibles (ROVs) for investigation, advanced electronic positioning systems, multi-beam strips Sounding systems and sub-bottom analyzers for hydrographic surveys. The equipment on board is capable of conducting limited ocean surveys to provide environmental data.
Catamaran or survey vessels warships are planned to be used by the Navy to undertake coastal hydrographic survey, required for production of nautical charts and publications for improving navigation through waters closer to coasts. The ships were also to be made capable of limited coastal defence role in an emergency, limited search and rescue and limited ocean research.
The Indian Navy chose to induct a vessel with a catamaran hull form for the first time and will be one of the very few select navies in the world to operate such sophisticated platforms. The vessels will also be capable of limited coastal defence role in an emergency and will also have a limited search and rescue capability and limited ocean research capability.
The 500 tonne capacity vessel Makar is 53 meter long, 16 meter wide. It can work even in lower draft of 2.2 meter. 150 kw capacity computerized touch screen control pane, radar system, special system for emergency operation, electric control panel, AC plant, state-of-the-art survey equipments, powerful engine room, officers recreation area, VHF-VLF are some other features of this vessel.
The ships are designed by an Australian naval architecture firm Sea Transport Solutions, which is based on Queensland's Gold Coast. In 2006, Indian Navy signed a contract with Gujarat-based Alcock Ashdown Gujarat Limited shipyard for building catamarans or survey vessels after it beat established players like L&T, ABG Shipyard and Garden Reach Shipbuilders in an open tender for the naval bid.
The Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha commissioned INS Makar into the Indian Navy 22 September 2012. Makar is a Catamaran Hydrographic Survey Vessel and is the first of its kind to be inducted in the Indian Navy. The Vessel is indigenously built by Alcock Ashdown Gujarat Ltd. INS Makar is another statement of the potential of the indigenous Warship Building Industry.
INS Makar also marked a new chapter in the annals of Hydrography in the country. The primary role of the ship is to undertake Hydrographic surveys, required for production of nautical charts and publications aimed at improving navigational safety at sea. She is equipped with an array of modern surveying equipment and also undertake limited oceanographic surveys towards providing marine environmental data.
The ship is propelled by four engines of M/s Cummins make as well as two bow thrusters. The ship has two Survey Motor Boats. The entire propulsion, navigational and power management packages of the Vessel are integrated in a single state-of-art system called Integrated Platform Management System.
Her impressive equipment outfit for hydrographic survey includes Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) and Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) for closer investigations, advanced Electronic Positioning System, Multibeam Swath Sounding Systems and Sub Bottom Profiler. She also has a full range of latest oceanographic and land survey equipment. The accommodation for the six officers and 44 sailors incorporates advanced ergonomic design and ensures crew comfort and space management. The ship has enhanced Indian Navy’s already existing world class sea/ocean survey capability.
This project, which was planned to buy six units, had a delay of about 10 years since contracting in 2006. Alcock Ashdown Gujarat Limited (AAGL), the state's shipbuilding company, secured green signal from the Gujarat government in April 2012 for its 100 per cent equity stake sale and has appointed consultants for its valuation. The proposal for disinvestment of the company has been under consideration since July 2006 with the Government of Gujarat (GoG). The state government had invited expression of interest for appointing consultants in November 2011. The company faced losses pegged close to over Rs 96 crore, on the contract bagged from the Ministry of Defence for constructing six survey vessels for the Indian Navy. the cost of construction per vessel would be Rs 125.96 crore as against the contract price of Rs 109.89 crore. Thus, the company was already exposed to the probable loss of Rs 96.42 crore. By December 2016 the Indian Navy was considering cancelling Rs.8000 crore (US$1.1 billion) contract with the private sector shipyard Alcock Ashdown Gujarat over 10 year delays in a contract to supply six vessels. But the contractor had supplied only one of the six vessels. "Out of the six vessels which would have been built under the Makar class, only one vessel INS Makar has been supplied and commissioned into the Navy but the other vessels have been delayed a long time," the Navy officials said. Along with INS Makar, five more ships with names Meen, Mithun, Mesh, Mahika and Mayank were also supposed to be built but there is no indication on their scheduled timeline for induction from the vendor.
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