Shipyards in India and Bangladesh laid the keels for four and three ships each for their respective navies in the latter half of June. On June 17, the keel for a Survey Vessel Large (SVL) and two Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft (ASW SWC) were laid for the Indian Navy. Earlier on June 15, Khulna Shipyard at Bangladesh held the keel laying ceremony for three Landing Craft Tank (LCT) ships. On June 28, the keel for the seventh and final Project 17A frigate was laid at Mazagon Docks Limited.
The SVL and ASW SWC intended for the Indian Navy were laid down at L&T shipyard, a subcontractor for GRSE which had won the contracts. This is the fourth and final SVL as part of the contract. The first ship, launched in 2021, is expected to be inducted later this year. The second ship of the class was launched in May. The 110m long, 3300 ton SVL ships are capable of coastal survey, deep-water hydrographic survey and determination of navigational channels. SVLs collect oceanographic and geophysical data using equipment such as Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV), Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV), echo sounders and Data Acquisition and Processing System (DAPS).
The Indian Navy has contracted GRSE and CSL for building eight ASW SWCs each. The keel laying ceremony was held for the second and third ASW SWC vessels by GRSE, which was contracted in April 2022. The 750 ton class ships are armed with light torpedoes, rocket launchers, a Hull Mounted Sonar (HMS) and Low Frequency Variable Depth Sonar (LFVDS). The ships will be used for littoral ASW duties.
The Bangladesh Navy had released a tender for three LCTs to be constructed by a local shipyard. Khulna Shipyard won the contract and the keel for all three ships, to be completed in 2 years, were laid. The 60m long LCTs will have a displacement of over 1000 tons and a crew of 60. The LCTs will be able to carry at least 350 tons of cargo, over 350 troops, six MBT-2000 tanks, five 155mm howitzers, 12 BTR-80 vehicles or up to 18 trucks. The ships will have a bow ramp and will be armed with two 12.7mm machine guns. The LCTs will be used for amphibious operations in the Bay of Bengal and will aid disaster relief operations. Khulna shipyard is also building five Padma class patrol boats, of which two have been launched to date. Meanwhile, Myanmar Navy is also expanding its fleet, making the Bay of Bengal a hub of naval expansion.