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Defence Minister A K Antony inaugurates Maharashtra Cluster of Coastal Surveillance System

Mumbai: August 25,2012

Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Saturday inaugurated the Maharashtra cluster of the chain of static sensors aimed at providing real-time surveillance along the coastline. This is the first of a coastal surveillance network comprising static radar and electro-optic sensors at 84 remote sites along the coastline, including the island territories, to detect movement of suspicious vessels. The project is based on the recommendations made by the Group of Ministers on reforming the national security system, post Kargli conflct and accelerated after 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

Speaking on the occasion, the Defence Minister said guarding the Indian coastline is a "challenging" and "herculean" task. Antony also said that the western coastline is highly sensitive and hence the decision was taken to make the cluster in Maharashtra and Gujarat operational first. "The fast changing coastal security scenario and the varied threat perceptions require proper coordination and alertness. The role of fishermen community acquires a singular importance. We must ensure maximum community participation to strengthen our coastal security," he said. "The implementation of the coastal surveillance network is a major step in enhancing the electronic surveillance capability of the Coast Guard," Mr.Antony added.

 

The sensors are operational with radar stations fitted at Tarapur, Korlai, Tolkeshwar and Devgad as part of the chain of static sensors project by the Coast Guard. Phase one of the project envisages real-time surveillance cover up to 25 nautical miles around the areas of high sensitivity and traffic density along the Indian coastline.

High end surveillance gadgets such as frequency diversity radar, electro-optic sensor, VHF sets and metrological equipment have been installed on either existing light houses or masts erected at each sites. Data generated by the static sensors at the remote operating stations will come to the Guard regional headquarters which will serve as regional operating centres.

 

The data will also be inter-faced with the Vessel Traffic Management Systems of the major ports and the fishing vessel monitoring system.

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