Abstract. The Very Small Array (VSA) is a fourteen-element interferometer designed to study the cosmic microwave background on angular scales of 2.4 to 0.2 degrees (angular multipoles l = 150 to 1800). It operates at frequencies between 26 and 36 GHz, with a bandwidth of 1.5 GHz, and is situated at the Teide Observatory, Tenerife. The instrument also incorporates a single-baseline interferometer, with larger collecting area, operating simultaneously with and at the same frequency as the VSA main array. This provides accurate flux measurements of contaminating radio sources in the VSA observations. Since September 2000, the VSA has been making observations of primordial CMB fluctuations. We describe the instrument, observing strategy and current status of the first year of observations
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