NEW DELHI — India’s new coastal surveillance network will be operational by mid-2013, Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony told the Indian Parliament in a written reply.
“The Coastal Surveillance Network consisting of a chain of static radar and electro-optic sensors at 84 remote sites is envisaged all along the coastline, including the island territories to detect movement of suspicious vessels,” the minister said in his written reply.
In the first phase, 46 radars are being operationalized in clusters. The network is envisaged to be fully functional by the middle of next year.
The coastal radars are part of India’s plans to substantially build its Coast Guard with additional personnel and assets. The push to upgrade the Coast Guard followed the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, which took place through the sea route.
The Coast Guard is also acquiring 20 fast patrol vehicles, 41 interceptor boats, 12 coastal surveillance aircraft (Dorniers) and off-shore patrol vehicles.
Last year, the Indian government approved setting up seven radar stations on the Gujarat coast along with a Coast Guard station at Pipavav, a private sector defense shipyard. The Coast Guard has also begun receiving the Dornier aircraft, 12 of which have been ordered with state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics. The aircraft are equipped with sophisticated navigational and communication sensors, and equipment.
The aircraft can be configured into various roles, such as pollution response, search and rescue, and maritime reconnaissance to meet Coast Guard duties, including coastal security.