New Delhi: In an effort to enhance its nuclear missile and satellite tracking capabilities, India is likely to commission next week its first ship ‘INS Dhruv’ with the latest gadgets to detect incoming hostile missiles. With this induction, India will join the select group of nations such as France, UK, Russia, the USA, and China that have such vessels.
The 15,000-tonne ballistic missile surveillance ship was built by the Hindustan Shipyard in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO). The ship is likely to be launched on September 10 in Visakhapatnam, sources said here on Friday. This ship is part of the Strategic Forces Command.
The sophisticated surveillance systems onboard are powered by 14 MW by INS Dhruv itself. The ship was codenamed VC 1118. Its commissioning into the service was delayed for some months due to the corona pandemic, sources said. Built as part of the Make in India initiative, the ship cost more than Rs 730 crores and has a crew of about 300 trained personnel. The project commenced in 2014.
INS Dhruv will act as a force multiplier as it will provide the Indian Navy a 360 degree view of the Indo-Pacific and the strategically important Indian Ocean region and help plan offensive operations with a high degree of accuracy. The ship will also increase the maritime capabilities in the backdrop of China’s growing naval prowess and muscle flexing in the Indo-Pacific and the Indian Ocean region, they said.
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval (NSA) is likely to commission the ship. Besides tracking nuclear missiles, INS Dhruv can also scan the ocean beds for research and track hostile submarines.
The indigenously designed and built ship carries active scanned array radar (AESA) with the ability to scan various spectrums to monitor spy satellites watching over India as well as monitor missile tests in the entire region. The ship can also detect ballistic missile tests carried out by other countries, sources said. With its induction, India will be able to keep an eye on the nuclear arsenal of countries like China and Pakistan.