VC-11184:-India’s Nuclear Missile Tracking Ship Nearly Completed

Latest picture of India’s secretive VC 11184 ship reveals that it has started its Sea Trial Phase and will be ready to be inducted into Indian Navy by end of this year. Construction of the ship began in 2014 under present NDA government and Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) was tasked to be India’s first missile tracking ship worth 750 crores to be operated by National Technical Research Organisation, the technical intelligence agency working directly under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Office and the National Security Adviser with Indian Navy.

The ship which is still referred to as VC 11184 will get an official name when inducted but will come as a boost to ocean surveillance capabilities of the country in the region. Powered by two diesel engines, 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 VC11184 will have multiple roles; from tracking enemy missiles to accurately giving data on tests that are routinely carried out of indigenous vessels and strategic missiles.

VC 11184 will have two AESA radar arrays, one in the S band and one X band. The S Band array is used for scanning large volumes of the sky for objects and for tracking missiles in flight, while the X band array is used for zeroing in on small hard to detect objects like reentry vehicles, missile interceptors, or even tiny satellites.

VC 11184 will be very handy in collecting data for India’s ballistic missile defence (BMD) system and will also aid in tracking the performance of Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) out there in open ocean fired from India’s Arihant class of Submarines.

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AESA radars also can track hostile ballistic missiles and can also identify decoys with actual warheads fired from multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) warhead capable ballistic missiles. AESA Radars are so lethal that they can provide detailed tracking of enemy fired ballistic missiles for a ground-based interceptor to take them down and can also be used to track space objects and projects, particularly if it is related to missile defence. 

VC 11184 will be critical components in India second phase development of ballistic missile defence (BMD) system which requires detection of a hostile missile fired from long range to be picked up early, once they are launched. Due to the limitation of ground based Radars and sensors, ballistic missile tracking ships stationed at high sea thus comes in handy for such long range tracking.

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