India’s first missile tracking ship is readying for sea trials
Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) is all set to undertake sea trials of India’s first missile tracking ship by the first week of October. The hi-tech ship will be India’s first and a force multiplier.
The keel of the ship, which was laid on June 30, 2014, is being built for the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), the technical intelligence agency working directly under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the National Security Adviser (NSA).
The ship will propel India’s entry into a select group of countries with such technology.
It was a “topmost secret project” and complete secrecy was kept throughout the project. The project cost was ₹750 crore.
It will be named after its induction into the Indian Navy. For now, it is simply referred as VC 11184.
This will be India’s first of its kind ocean surveillance ship being built as envisioned by India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to strengthen the country’s strategic weapons program.
HSL Chairman and Managing Director Rear Admiral L.V. Sarat Babu told The Hindu that the sea trials would be carried out either by September-end or the first week of October.
Declining to comment further, he said they had successfully completed the basin trials sometime ago.
The ship was built inside the covered dry dock. It has can carry 300 crew equipped with hi-tech gadgets and communication equipment, powered by two diesel engines, and a large deck capable of helicopter landing.
Visakhapatnam is considered a strategic location on the East Coast for the Indian defence forces as it is home for Ship Building Centre to build nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant class, Naval Alternate Operational Base at Rambilli, the second naval base after Eastern Naval Command headquarters, training centre for Marine Commandos and headquarters of the submarine arm.