As soon as India’s first Missile Tracking Ship – VC 11184 will be ready, Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) will begin its sea trials by the first week of October. VC 11184 – Missile Tracking Ship will be India’s first sojourn into an elite club of nations which can detect, track and eventually destroy hostile missiles from the middle of the sea.
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Missile Tracking Ship – A Big Boost for Indian Defence
Hindustan Shipyard Limited is readying to undertake sea trials of India’s first missile tracking ship, a force multiplier, by the first week of next month. The base of the ship, which was laid on June 30, 2014, is being built for the National Technical Research Organisation, the technical intelligence agency working directly under the direction of the Prime Minister’s Office and the National Security Adviser.
Considered a “topmost secret project”, a lot of confidentiality is being affirmed in achieving the project costing about ₹750 crore. It will be named after its introduction into the Indian Navy. For now, it is simply referred as VC 11184.
Strategic Weapons Program
This will be the first of its kind ocean surveillance ship being constructed as part of the efforts under the NDA government to establish the country’s strategic weapons programme.
When asked about the initiation of sea trials, HSL Chairman and Managing Director Rear Admiral L.V. Sarat Babu told The Hindu that the sea trials would be conducted either by September-end or the first week of October and they were confident of handing over the ship to the Indian Navy by the year-end. “This would put India in the elite of club of a few countries that have such a sophisticated ocean surveillance ship,” the Rear Admiral said. Declining to comment further, he said they had successfully completed the basin trials sometime ago.
300 Strong Crew for Missile Tracking Ship – VC 11184
The ship was constructed inside the covered dry harbour. It has the potential to carry 300-strong crew with hi-tech gadgets and transmission equipment, powered by two diesel engines, and a large deck capable of a helicopter landing.
Visakhapatnam is considered a strategic location on the East Coast for the Indian defence forces as it is home to Ship Building Centre to build submarine power by nuclear 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.