General Studies IIIInternal Security



Indian naval ship (INS) Sarvekshak departs Colombo on completion of survey assistance

Key Highlights:

  • Indian Navy’s Hydrographic Survey Ship Sarvekshak successfully completed survey action around the site of ill-fated MV X-Press Pearl on 02 July and handed over the survey data to the Sri Lankan authorities.
  • The ship equipped with the state of the art survey equipment including the Side Scan Sonar, was deployed on 25 June at the request of Government of Sri Lanka.
  • The survey operations in three search areas around the wreck was progressed in coordination with Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka’s National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA).
  • The ship undertook a total of 807 miles of Side Scan Sonar survey and identified 54 prominent underwater debris from MV X-Press Pearl and also one additional uncharted wreck.
  • The survey of the wreckage area would facilitate issuance of advisory to both mariners and fishermen, and subsequent removal of debris by Sri Lankan authorities, thereby ensuring safety of navigation for marine traffic operating through Colombo port.
  • In the past, INS Sarvekshak has also undertaken foreign cooperation surveys in Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania and Kenya.
  • India and Sri Lanka share a strong bond and partnership, and this survey operation undertaken has been another milestone in strengthening cooperation and understanding between the two countries and reinforcing the shared values.

About INS Sarvekshak

  • INS Sarvekshak (J22) is a hydrographic survey ship in the Indian Navy, under the Southern Naval Command.
  • It is fitted with state-of-the-art survey equipment like Deep Sea Multibeam echo sounder system, Side Scan Sonar, Sound Velocity Profilers, and a fully automated digital surveying and processing system.
  • Apart from a helicopter and Bofors 40 mm gun, the ship is also equipped with four survey motor boats, two small boats. 
  • In addition, the ship carries a Chetak helicopter which was extensively deployed during the survey for aerial recce.
  • The ship was awarded the runner-up trophy in the 2015 Innovation Trophy awards given out on Navy Day as an operational unit by Prime Minister. The award was given for developing an innovative solution for tidal measurement during hydrological surveys by use of land based terrain mapping equipment and floating buoys mounted with prisms.
  • In 2017 Sarvekshak became the 1st ship of Indian Navy ever to deploy solar power. It has innovatively deployed the zero-maintenance solar power system, capable of generating 5.4 kW electricity and replacing the ship’s traditional 4.4 kW emergency diesel alternator.


Built by Goa Shipyard Limited and commissioned into the Naval service at Kochi naval base in 2002, Sarvekshak is the Indian Navy’s eight hydrographic survey and perhaps the last ship under Sandhayak class to have been indigenously designed and constructed.

INS Sarvekshak had previously visited Mauritius in February 2006 and March 2007 to undertake hydrographic surveys. The survey work by INS Sarvekshak was of immense help to Mauritius with regards to fishing, ecosystem preservation and management, establishment of artificial reefs, delimitation of the Continental Shelf of Mauritius and safe navigation of ships and crafts.In 2007 the ship surveyed Port Mathurin, Rodrigues, which was last surveyed 133 years ago.In 2011 the ship was also deployed in Seychelles to carry out hydrographic surveys off the atoll of Aldabra, Picard Island, Polyminie and part of Malabar Island and Grande-Terre island on the request of Government of Seychelles as the last survey of the area was done back in 1960s. As part of goodwill tour 20 students from Jammu and Kashmir also toured the ship in 2011.


Primary task

The primary task of INS Sarvekshak includes hydrographic surveys, nautical chart preparation, cartography and training. The ship is also equipped with ROV, AUV & USV.As part of protocol the ship also took part in International Defence Exhibition 2009 held at Abu Dhabi. In 2015 Sarvekshak, was deployed to Mauritius for five weeks to help in survey operations. INS Sarvekshak was also deployed in 2011 to Mauritius as part of survey operations to execute the following tasks in three phases.

(a) Survey off Rodrigues for delineation of Continental shelf.

(b) Survey of Port Louis Harbour

(c) Survey of passes off Mauritian Coast

(d) Checking serviceability of survey equipment held with Government of Mauritius

(e) Undertake training of Mauritian survey officers and NCG personnel.

Source: PIB

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