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India’s first missile tracking ship is ready to hit high seas

India’s first missile tracking ship is ready to hit high seas

  • The VC 11184 is India’s first missile tracking ship, which will also be the first dedicated resource in Phase-II of India’s ballistic missile defence.
  • The project has cost around ₹7.5 billion ($100 million) so far.
  • With this ship, India will join the likes of the Russia and China, as one of the few countries will advanced ocean capabilities.
Putting India in the elite club of countries that are equipped with sophisticated ocean surveillance ship, the VC 11184 is ready for sea trials. There are only four other countries - the US, Russia, China, and France - that have have similar vessels in their arsenal.

Set to go in the first week of October, Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) will launch the ship off the coast of Visakhapatnam. This is also where the Ship Building Centre is currently working on the nuclear-powered submarine, INS Arihant.

The VC 11184 is the first of its kind for the Indian Navy as a part of the country’s strategic weapons programme aimed at strengthening the country’s defences. It will also be the first ship to be a dedicated resource for Phase-II of India’s ballistic missile defence. The name may sound a little bland, but the ship will be renamed once it’s officially inducted into the Indian navy.

As of now, the VC11184 is being built for the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO). This technical intelligence agency works directly with the Prime Minister’s Office and the National Security Advisor.

From port to starboard

There isn’t a lot to say about the VC 11184 since it’s a ‘topmost secret project’ entailing strict confidentiality but the Hindu does report that the project has cost a total ₹7.5 billion ($100 million) so far.

Powered by two diesel engines, the VC11184 can carry a crew of 300 and has a large deck which can accommodate a helicopter landing. Basin trials were already successful a while ago. The ship’s also equipped with hi-tech gadgets and communication equipment.

The objectives of the VC11184 are two-fold. One, track missiles using the two sensors on-board, the X-Band AESA primary radar and S-Band AESA secondary radar. And, two, gather electronic intelligence.

Between those two tasks, the VC1184 will be the most advanced tracking and surveillance ship in India’s arsenal.