India set to join select league of nations with launch of its first satellite, nuclear missile tracking ship INS Dhruv on 10 Sep

India set to join select league of nations with launch of its first satellite, nuclear missile tracking ship INS Dhruv on 10 Sep

Hummingbird News Desk

NEW DELHI, 4 SEP: In a major boost to India’s missile tracking capabilities, the country’s first satellite and nuclear missile tracking ship, INS Dhruv, is set to be commissioned on 10 September and thus it will enter a select league of nations with the capability to monitor missile launches at long distances, enhancing the testing programme and adding a crucial part to a national missile defence system. INS Dhruv has the capability to also map ocean beds for research and detection of enemy submarines. The indigenously-built 10,000-ton ocean surveillance ship is equipped with active electronically scanned array radars.

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The ship can gather electronic intelligence and will be used to track missile and satellites to aid India’s strategic weapons and anti-ballistic missiles. It will be jointly operated by National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Navy. The ship had reportedly started sea trials in early 2019 and had entered service in October 2020 without a public commissioning ceremony while official sources suggest that ship is all set to be commissioned on 10 September. Similar ships have been in operation by China, France, Russia and United States.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is expected to commission the ship from Visakhapatnam. Built by Hindustan Shipyard in collaboration with DRDO and NTRO, INS Dhruv will be at the heart of India’s future anti-ballistic missile capability as it will act as an early warning system for enemy missiles headed towards Indian cities and military establishments. The ship will be a vital key to maritime domain awareness in the Indo-Pacific and is being commissioned at the time when the era of underwater armed and surveillance drones has dawned.

Visakhapatnam has been considered a strategic location on the East Coast for the Indian defence forces as it is home for Ship Building Centre to build nuclear powered submarine 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.

With both China and Pakistan having nuclear ballistic missile capability and land disputes with India, the INS Dhruv will act as a major force multiplier to India’s maritime security architecture as well add to the capability to understand the true missile capability of the adversary when they test their ballistic missiles.

The ship cost around Rs 1,500 crore (equivalent to Rs 19 billion or US$270 million in 2019) and has been designed in India by Vik Sandvik Design India. It has a displacement of more than 10,000 tonnes, length of 175 metre, beam of 22 metre, draught of 6 metre and can attain a speed of 21 knots. It is powered by two imported 9,000 kilowatt combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) configuration engines and three 1200 kilowatt auxiliary generators.

The ship will be fitted with a primary X band and secondary S band active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. In addition, it has a long open deck with ample space for installing multiple missile tracking antennas. It will have a crew complement of 300 personnel and will carry a single helicopter. The ship will also have a special team from NTRO on board.

INS Dhruv by mapping the Indian Ocean bed will also help the Indian Navy plan better military operations in all three dimensions—sub-surface, surface and aerial. Given that China has moved to sea-based military doctrine with huge investments in long-range aircraft carriers, warships and submarines, the latest Indian ship will help India’s electronic intelligence-gathering spy agency, the NTRO, to project threat to India in real-time.

Tags: #INSDhruv #DRDO #NTRO #AESA #Visakhapatnam

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