Hello defence lovers! According to some media reports, the sea trials of India’s Floating test Range INS Anvesh is set to begin this month. The ship is expected to be commissioned in the next two months. Once commissioned India will enter the elite club of very few nations that operate a Floating Test Range. In this article, we are going to understand what is a Floating test range and what purposes does it serve. We will how INS Anvesh is different from INS Druv, India’s missile tracking ship.
What Is A Floating Test Range
A Floating Test Range or a Floating Missile Test Range is a type of ship which is capable of launching, controlling, and tracking missiles. India’s DRDO has developed the technology of the Floating Test Range and it is being manufactured by the Cochin Shipyard Limited. This FTR will be named INS Anvesh.
The construction of this ship began in the year 2015 in the Cochin Shipyard. There are contrasting claims about the displacement and length of the ship. According to media reports INS Anvesh displaces somewhere between 9000 to 11300 tonnes. The length could be between 118 meters to 200 meters. The ship is expected to cost ₹425 crores. It is expected to have a speed of over 18 knots and a complement of 150 sailors and officers.
Radars and Sensors
INS Anvesh will be equipped with state-of-the-art sensors and radars. Its primary radar is an S-band AESA radar. It is equipped with electro-optical missile tracking systems along with tracking and telemetry systems. It also has facilities such as a launchpad, a mission control center, and a launch control center.
Purpose of INS Anvesh
INS anvesh is a Floating Test Range which means it can launch missiles for testing purposes from anywhere in the sea. It’s like a mini APJ Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island) in the sea. INS Anvesh serves two main purposes. The first is concealing activities from APJ Abdul Kalam Island India’s own Area 51. Due to its high-level profile, it is always under the surveillance of the enemy’s spy satellites. Once the ship is commissioned the test launches can be conducted anywhere from the sea. The second purpose of the ship is to conduct missile launch activities away from populated areas and busy shipping lanes. Each time a missile test is scheduled, a Navigational Area Warning is issued. Important shipping lanes are blocked for some time. This process also causes delays in the launching of missiles.
With a Floating Test Range, missile tests can be carried out with minimum safety precautions and with secrecy. The FTR will capable of launching missiles with ranges up to around 1,500 km (930 mi). It will also be able to launch torpedoes for testing purposes.
INS Dhruv Vs INS Anvesh
Both INS Avesh and INS Dhruv are missile tracking ships but they serve completely different purposes. INS Dhruv is designed to track incoming enemy missiles especially ballistic missiles and provide over the horizon tracking. On the other hand, Anvesh is designed to track our own missiles’ developmental launches. Its primary role is to hasten up the developmental process of missiles systems and maintain secrecy. Both the ships are equally important for the defence of our country.
Once the floating test range is commissioned it will significantly boost our missile developing potential. It will hasten up the developmental process of many crucial projects such as phase II of the Ballistic Missile Defence program. INS ANvesh will enhance India’s capabilities by many folds.