To train naval cadets on coastal and oceanic hydrographic survey, the Navy is on the lookout for a shipbuilder with the capability to build vessels that can map underwater landscape.
The vessels are required to carry out surveys near ports and harbours for determination of navigational approaches, channels and routes for defence applications.
"We want these survey vessels to be modelled on our own INS Darshak built by the Goa Shipyard and commissioned into naval service in 2001," a Navy officer said here today.
Keeping in mind its future order for such survey vessels, the Navy has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to shipyards, both in public and private sector, he added.
Darshak is the Navy's eighth survey vessel with a length of approximately 85 metres and 1,800-tonne to 2,000-tonne standard displacement.
The vessels, the RFI said, would have an expected life of 25 years and adhere to International Convention for Prevention of Pollution from Ships.
The vessels' machinery, sensors and equipment would have reliability and maintainability for a mission time of eight weeks at a stretch.
The new ships would have a single hull of proven design and made of welded steel with steel or aluminium super structure.
With an endurance of 6,500 nautical miles at an economical speed, the vessels would be capable of attaining maximum speeds of 16 knots, the officer said.
It would also be capable of operating a single-engine 6-tonne helicopter and have a retractable hangar for full stowage of the rotary wing aircraft.
Each ship would have 23 officers including the commanding officer, apart from 188 sailors.
The survey vessels would carry four 9.2-metre survey motor boats, two sea boats, two inflatable Gemini with outboard motors, a Maruti Gypsy and a diesel jeep, two trailers and two water carriers of 1,000-litre capability, a telescopic crate with 2 to 2.5-tonne lifting jeep.