NEW DELHI — The Indian government has cleared a $390 million proposal to upgrade the country’s coastal security, which involves buying additional patrol vessels and improving the radar network.
The Cabinet Committee on Security, the highest body in the government responsible for making decisions about security and defense matters, cleared the proposal Dec. 13. Under the plan, five offshore patrol vessels would be acquired by the Indian Coast Guard. In addition, the second phase of the $116.3 million coastal radar project has also been cleared.
Under the second phase, 38 additional radars will be installed for coastal security. In all, the Coastal Surveillance Network, consisting of phase 1 and phase 2, will be operational by mid-2013. In the first phase 46 radars are being operationalized in clusters.
The Coastal Surveillance Network will consist of a chain of static radar and electro-optic sensors at 84 remote sites along the coast, including the island territories, to detect movement of suspicious vessels.
The placement of coastal radars is part of India’s plans to improve its maritime security agency, the Indian Coast Guard, with additional personnel and assets. The need to upgrade the Coast Guard followed the Nov. 26, 2011, Mumbai terror attacks, which took place through a sea route.
The Coast Guard is also acquiring 20 fast patrol vehicles, 41 interceptor boats, 12 coastal surveillance aircraft (Dorniers), and seven off-shore patrol vehicles.