A naval vessel with a mystery name — VC 11184 — has been built at Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL) at a cost of ?725 crore under a classified project which began four years ago.
Like hush-hush construction of nuclear submarines, complete secrecy is being maintained by Navy and HSL on the missile-range instrumentation ship, which will be India’s most advanced and largest ocean surveillance vessel that can track ballistic missiles.
Reliable sources in HSL and Navy told TOI the project is in trial phase and the warship will be handed over to Navy in a few months. The vessel would have a special team on board from the technical intelligence bureau (National Technical Research Organisation), which directly reports to National Security Advisor’s office.
A highly-placed source in HSL said, “We bagged the prestigious project three years ago and began construction at our ship-building yard. The ship is almost ready and once the trials get over, it will be officially handed to the Navy in 2018. Secrecy has been maintained on the project which is being monitored by PMO .”
As per information from defence websites, the vessel, known only by its mysterious yard designation at Visakhapatnam, VC 11184, will be deployed for supporting India’s strategic weapons programme.
After HSL bagged project in 2013, ship was to be delivered by August 2015, but it was stuck in logistical delays . The warship is 175m in length with a displacement of 10,000 tonnes.