India’s first missile tracking ship being built at Hindustan Shipyard Limited is in advanced stage of construction.
It is expected to be New Year gift to the Indian Navy, if the indications available at the HSL, a Ministry of Defence enterprise, hold water. The project which was launched in 2014 directly under the supervision of the National Technical Research Organisation, the Prime Minister’s Office and the National Security Advisor is being undertaken without a name due to secrecy attached to it.
Built with an objective to provide a robust shield to India’s nuclear missile shield, is referred to as VC 11184, the yard where the construction was taken up. It will be given a name only after its induction into the Navy.
Sources seeking anonymity told The Hindu that the progress so far was very encouraging and after some more sea trials and installation of certain facilities, it will be handed over to the Navy. The project is expected to give a fillip to ballistic missile programme. “We have work for a month or two after which it will be ready for delivery,” an official said without elaborating further on VC 11184.
The ship fitted with primary X band and secondary S band active electrically scanned array radar. It will have facility for 300 personnel, huge deck for landing of a helicopter and multiple missile tracking antennas. It will have a displacement capacity of 10,000 tonne with a speed limit of 26 knots.
HSL, founded on June 21, 1941 by Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd, was transferred from the Ministry of Shipping to the Ministry of Defence in February, 2010 in recognition of its strategic importance.
HSL is getting ready to construct five Fleet Support Ships at a cost of ₹9,045 crore and two Special Operation Vehicles valued at Rs 5,000 crore from the Navy. It is also making a serious bid for medium refit and life certification of fourth EKM class submarine.
The yard is also in the race for the construction of six submarines for the Navy under the Project 75 (I) by forming a joint venture with Adani Defence System Technologies Ltd after obtaining required clearances from the Ministry of Defence and Niti Aayog.