The Indian navy is operating a stable research platform built around a steel-hulled catamaran. The 53.15 by 16-metre (174.4 X 52.5-foot) INS Makar has a molded depth of 4.5 metres (15 feet). Designed by the Australian naval architecture firm Sea Transport Solutions, the INS Makar, first in a series of up to six vessels, was delivered from the Alcock Ashdown (Gujarat) Ltd form from its Bhavnagar shipyard.
Equipped with coastal hydrographic surveys and mapping as it primary function the vessel is fitted with an advanced electronic positioning system, multi-beam swath sounding systems and a sub-bottom profiler as well as other modern oceanographic and land survey equipment. The aluminum superstructure on the steel hull provides workspaces and accommodation for up to six officers, 44 sailors and six scientists.
Four Cummins KTA38 M2 engines, each producing 1,007 kW, provide propulsion power. The engines, two in each hull, turn propellers to give the vessel a 12-knot cruising and 18-knot top speed. Each hull is also fitted with a bow thruster to allow more precise positioning of the vessel when doing survey work. The INS Makar carries two auxiliary motorboats and supports a Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).
Planned as the first in a series of six, the INS Makar was delivered to the Indian Navy in 2012. A sister ship, the INS Meen, is under construction. The remaining four are awaiting administrative clarification.