Outfitting Work Progresses On Board India’s Secretive DRDO Technology Demonstration Vessel at Cochin Shipyard

Outfitting works on board India’s secretive DRDO Technology Demonstration Vessel (TDV) are progressing at the state-owned Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), according to the FY2019 Q1 Investor Presentation released by CSL in August.

DRDO Technology Demonstration Vessel (TDV) is a purported missile range instrumentation ship being built for the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), an agency charged with the military research and development and operated under the administrative control of the Indian Ministry of Defence.

Cochin Shipyard was awarded a contract, worth Rs.365 crore ($50 million), to build the TDV in August 2015. The original contract for construction of the vessel was signed with Bharati Shipyard, but time overruns forced by the yard’s poor finances led to termination of the contract.

Steel plate cutting of the vessel (designated Ship No.20 by the CSL) was started on 10 August 2016 and the mega block assembly of hull blocks commenced on Jan, 27, 2016. According to the Investor Presentation released in May 2018, the vessel was launched in FY 2017-18; most likely sometime around February-March 2018. It was reported earlier that the vessel will be delivered to the customer in December this year.

The ship has a length of 118.4 meter, 20 meter width and 7.1 meter draft and having a steel weight of approximately 3900 tonnes.

The vessel was built to commercial standards specifications and is currently being fitted with ‘user-supplied equipment’. The ship reportedly would have an array of sensors and radars to track flight of under-development long-range missiles during their test-firing. One of the major missile development program ongoing in India is that of the K-4 intermediate-range submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) with an operational range of around 3,500 km.

Cochin Shipyard is also currently performing outfitting work on board Indian Navy’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant.

Indian Navy will take delivery of a larger missile tracking ship shortly. The vessel, named Ocean Surveillance Ship (OSS) with a yard designation VC11184, is built by Indian Ministry of Defence-owned shipbuilder, Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL). The ship will be operated by the Indian Navy and the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), India’s technical intelligence agency.

Indian Navy OSS
Ocean Surveillance Ship (OSS) / VC 11184, a missile range instrumentation ship of the Indian Navy

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