Mystery ship project gets Rs 725 crore from Centre

It will be part of ballistic missile defence system
alyan Ray
Last Updated : 21 December 2014, 20:00 IST
Last Updated : 21 December 2014, 20:00 IST

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The defence ministry has sanctioned Rs 725 crore for the construction of a secret naval ship that will eventually be a part of India’s ballistic missile defence system being put in place slowly, bit by bit.

Under construction at the Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL), Visakhapatnam, the Ocean Surveillance Ship (P-11184) is a classified project, monitored directly by the Prime Minister’s Office. The ship’s keel was laid on June 30, 2014 and the shipyard has been given a timeline of December, 2015 to finish the project.

“Once ready, it will be a vessel for Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for tracking ballistic missiles, while Navy will operate it. The vessel will be used for long range surveillance of missiles,” a source familiar with the project told Deccan Herald. Last week, the Navy, HSL and DRDO reviewed the progress made in the project.

Being a classified project, not many in the armed forces and DRDO are aware of the OSS in the first place. It is being run in the same manner as the Advance Technology Vessel project, which was the code name for the indigenous nuclear submarine Arihant.
Among the advanced nations, the US, which has its own theatre missile defence shield and offers it to its allies like Japan and South Korea, has such ships.

HSL received the first financial instalment in February 2013 and one more round is expected as the OSS’s total cost is reportedly about Rs 1,500 crore. HSL was taken over by the defence ministry in 2010 for better coordination as the shipyard undertook several secret projects including construction of Arihant and two more nuclear-powered SSBN.
The ship will be having a a long open deck with space for several tracking antennae located at the aft of the forward superstructure.

Designed by Vik Sandvik Design India, it has a length of 175 mt, a beam of 22 mt, a depth of 6 mt and 10,000 tons of steel are required for its construction. It has a helicopter deck and hangar with a planned complement of 300 men. Powered by two 9,000 kw engines, the vessel’s maximum velocity would be 21 knots.

India’s missile defence shield comprises two different systems – AAD (Advanced Air Defence) and PAD (Prithvi Air Defence) – for destroying enemy missiles within and outside the atmosphere.

While the AAD (endo-atmospheric system) can kill an incoming missile within a range of 15-30 km, PAD could neutralise the target missile at a distance of 50-80 km.

Published 21 December 2014, 20:00 IST

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