India: Coastal radars in Mumbai and Porbandar to function from Saturday

Friday, August 24, 2012
New Delhi: Indian Defence Minister AK Antony will inaugurate the Static Sensors Project of Coastal Surveillance Network (CSN) of the Coast Guard at Mumbai and Porbandar on August 25, 2012. 

The Chain of Static Sensors project being steered by the Indian Coast Guard, finds its origin in the recommendations made by the Group of Ministers (GoM) on reforming the National Security System, post-Kargil conflict. After detailed Inter-Ministerial deliberations, it was decided that the Indian Coast Guard would implement this ambitious project. The project implementation on the mainland and the island territories is envisaged to be completed by September 2012 and March 2013 respectively.

Post-26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, there was an emergent need to strengthen Indian Coastal Security apparatus. Accordingly, this project was progressed on a fast track. Considering the strategic nature of the Project and with an aim to develop indigenous capabilities in the field, it was decided to implement this project through Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). The contract for this turnkey project was concluded with BEL, Bangalore in Sep 2011 at a cost of over Rs.600 Crores with an implementation schedule of 12 months and 18 months for the mainland and the island sites, respectively.

In order to define the project requirement for the Phase-I of the project, a detailed vulnerability Gap analysis and feasibility study was undertaken by the Indian Coast Guard along with other stake holders, viz. Director General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL), Indian Navy, concerned state Governments etc. Accordingly, the Phase-I was conceptualized to provide real¬ time surveillance cover upto 25 nautical miles around the areas of high sensitivity and traffic density along our coast line.

The project envisages fitment of high end surveillance gadgets viz. Frequency Diversity Radar, Electro Optic sensors (Charge Coupled Device (CCD) Day Camera, Low Light TV (LLTV) Night Camera and Long Range Thermal Imagers) VHF sets and Met equipment on lighthouses and masts erected on DGLL Land. In the Phase-I of the project, 46 Remote Radar sites (36 locations in mainland, 06 locations in Lakshadweep & Minicoy Islands and 04 in Andaman & Nicobar Islands) would be established at various lighthouses located along the coast line. These sites have been strategically located to provide electronic surveillance of areas of high sensitivity and high traffic density along our coastline. The system is designed to promote surveillance cover upto the 25 nautical miles from the coast line around each Radar sites. It is presently capable of positive identification of vessels carrying class ‘A’ and ‘B’ Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponders.

The data generated by the Static Sensors will flow over a robust hierarchical network architecture, connecting Coast Guard District Headquarters (Regional Operating Stations) and Regional Headquarters (Remote Operating Centers) to Coast Guard Headquarters (Control Center) at New Delhi. The sensor data generated from this network would be further supplemented with the AIS data from the National AIS Chain of DGLL/Ministry of Shipping and interfaced with the Vessel Traffic Management Systems (VTMS) of the major ports, Fishing Vessel Monitoring System, Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) and National Command Communication Control and intelligence Network (NC3I) of Indian Navy.

The project of Chain of Static Sensors aims at preventing undetected intrusion by monitoring the movement of vessels plying along our coastline. The project would also aid in enhancing the efficacy of Search and Rescue (SAR) operations coordinated by the Coast Guard. The sensor data generated by the Coastal Surveillance Network would also be shared with other maritime agencies via the NC3I network to generate a comprehensive Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA).

The project is the first of its kind both in terms of expanse and strategic implications. Despite the inherent complexities of the project, involving multi agency coordination at all levels, the project is nearing completion within the stipulated time line. This project, when implemented completely, would provide the much needed electronic eye to our maritime agencies and provide the envisaged impetus to the overall coastal security apparatus.

Upon completion of the Phase-I, it is planned to take up Phase-II of the project, wherein, 38 additional Remote Radar sites would be established. 21 sites of the VTMS Gulf of Kutch and Gulf of Khambhat would also be integrated during the Phase-II. During the Phase-II, the Static Radar Chain is also proposed to be supplemented by 08 Mobile Surveillance Systems.
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