India commissions VC 11184 - first secretive missile tracking and ocean surveillance ship


India has quietly commissioned its secretive nuclear missile tracking vessel that had been under construction since 2014, entering 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.

Called the VC 11184, the specialised Ocean Surveillance Ship was commissioned in October last year in a ceremony that was not made public, sources have told ET. The ship delivery was delayed by a few months due to the Covid-19 crisis but all tests and trails were cleared in 2020 to ensure it is ready to enter service.

At present, only the US, France, China and Russia operate similar vessels that are used to track missile launches at sea. The vessel will be able to monitor India’s developmental trials of missiles of greater range than ever before — virtually unlimited due to its ability to traverse the oceans.

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