National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is expected to commission India’s first satellite and ballistic missile tracking ship Dhruv from Visakhapatnam on September 10. Built by Hindustan Shipyard in collaboration with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), INS Dhruv has the capability to also map ocean beds for research and detection of enemy submarines.
It is understood that the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and NTRO Chairman Anil Dasmana will be present at the launch ceremony along with senior DRDO and Navy officials. The nuclear missile tracking ship will be manned by Indian Navy personnel with the Strategic Forces Command (SFC). Such ships are operated by France, the US, the UK, Russia, and China only.
The 10,000-ton ship, which is part of a classified project, 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.
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.
INS Dhruv is equipped with DRDO developed state of the art active scanned array radar or 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. This will add to the Indian Navy’s capability to monitor the region from the Gulf of Aden to the ingress routes to the South China Sea via Malacca, Sunda, Lombok, Ombai and Wetar straits.
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.