Marking a monumental stride in maritime technology, the collaborative efforts of Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd, a Kolkata-based warship manufacturer, and the dynamic MSME entity AEPL have given rise to the extraordinary autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) christened ‘Neerakshi.’ This cutting-edge creation, an unparalleled feat in India’s technological landscape, has been unveiled with the profound objective of redefining the realm of mine detection.
The name ‘Neerakshi,’ resonating with its purpose as the vigilant “Eyes in the Water,” sets the stage for a new era in maritime security. As this groundbreaking AUV enters the limelight, anticipation mounts for its imminent user trials, meticulously planned to involve rigorous testing by the Indian Navy, Coast Guard, and Army. These pivotal trials are poised to pave the way for the future commercial launch of ‘Neerakshi,’ a development that holds the promise of transforming underwater operations in the nation.
Measuring an impressive 2.15 meters in length, ‘Neerakshi’ boasts an exceptional endurance capability, promising nearly 4 hours of uninterrupted operation beneath the waves. With a remarkable operational range that extends to depths of up to 300 meters, this AUV is primed to take on the most demanding underwater challenges.
The potential of these AUVs, once harnessed by our Armed Forces, is vast and multifaceted. A significant role awaits them in mine countermeasure operations, as well as their invaluable contribution as reusable targets in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercises conducted by warships. Furthermore, their deployment holds the key to passive acoustic monitoring, enabling extended periods of steadfast surveillance to track the movement of sub-surface platforms.
The versatility of ‘Neerakshi’ extends to a spectrum of functions, spanning from precise mine detection to the intricate task of mine disposal and comprehensive underwater surveys. As the user trials draw to a close and essential user feedback is incorporated, the stage will be set for the commencement of commercial AUV production.
Looking ahead, ambitious endeavors are underway to amplify ‘Neerakshi’s’ endurance capabilities by an impressive margin of 200-300%. This enhancement would enable its deployment for coastguard duties, whether launched from a mother ship or directly from the coastline. The fusion of advanced technology and strategic innovation propels ‘Neerakshi’ into a realm where it not only reshapes maritime operations but also ensures heightened security and proficiency in underwater exploration.