hydrographic survey of Sri Lanka
INS Darshak

Colombo: INS Darshak of the Eastern Naval Command, which has been on a 2-month deployment to Sri Lanka, has successfully completed a hydrographic survey of the Weligama Bay and one for the southern coast of that country. Captain Peush Pawsey, Commanding Officer, INS Darshak, handed over formally the result of the survey to Vice Admiral RC Wijegunaratne, WV, RWP & Bar, RSP, VSV, USP, ndc, psn, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, in a ceremony held in Colombo on 12 May.

The survey operations were undertaken in 3 phases. The ship visited Colombo and Galle Harbour, too. The ship and its survey motor boats fitted with multi-beam systems were extensively deployed. The hydrographic survey data for more than 7,000 nautical miles was collected. INS Darshak’s integral Chetak helicopter participated in the operations.

The officers and sailors of Sri Lanka Navy had embarked ship during the conduct of the joint survey operations. Their Indian counterparts imparted training to them on various aspects of hydrographic surveying. In addition, the sailors of both the navies interacted during the ship’s stay in Colombo and Galle. They played friendly football, volleyball and basketball matches. Beach cleaning drives were part of the interaction.

INS Darshak of Indian Navy has the unique distinction of having surveyed in Mauritius, Seychelles, Myanmar, Mozambique and Tanzania in the last few years. The successful completion of the maiden joint hydrographic survey with Sri Lanka Navy marks a new beginning in the bilateral relations between the 2 countries.

Built by Goa Shipyard Limited and commissioned into the Naval service at Visakhapatnam under the command of Captain SS Karnik in 2001, Darshak is the Indian Navy’s eighth hydrographic survey ship to have been indigenously designed and constructed. Incidentally, the first indigenously built survey ship of the Navy, inducted in 1964 and decommissioned in 1990, was also named INS Darshak.

The new Darshak is equipped with a range of surveying, navigational and communication systems. The next-generation surveying systems provided onboard include the multi-beam swath echo sounding system, differential global positioning system, motion sensors, sea gravimeter, magnetometer oceanographic sensors, side scan sonars and an automated data logging system. These are designed to meet the stringent international/ISO 9002 digital survey accuracy standards required for the production of electronic navigation charts and publications.

The Darshak is powered by 2 diesel engines and is capable of sustained speeds. The ship’s multi-role capability places her in the league of the most versatile survey vessels in the world. It can undertake a variety of tasks under trying conditions. [Wikipedia]

Letting the Navy of another country conduct such a survey in one’s territory shows the extent of trust Sri Lanka has developed in India over the recent past.

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