Kochi: Indian Defence Minister AK Antony today opened a remote operating station of the coastal radar chain of Kerala cluster at Coast Guard District Headquarters No 4 at Fort Kochi. The static radar chain project aims at preventing undetected intrusion and monitoring of coastal traffic. The Kerala cluster has presently radars installed atop the light houses at Mount Dilli in Kannur, Ponnani in Mallapuram, Vypin in Ernakulam and Quilon in Kollam districts. The feed from these sensors will be available at the District Headquarters No 4 at Fort Kochi along with inputs of thermal imaging cameras and Automatic Identification System (AIS). The sensor data generated from the network will flow over a robust hierarchical network connecting district headquarters, regional headquarters and the Coast Guard Headquarters at New Delhi.
The chain of static sensors project which is being steered by the Indian Coast Guard finds its origin post Kargil Conflict. Slumbering on the recommendations, the government acted on it after 26/11 terrorist attack on Mumbai, which came by sea. Subsequent to a detailed vulnerability Gap analysis, the Phase-1 of the project aims providing real time surveillance cover up to 25 nautical miles around areas of the high sensitivity and traffic density along Indian coast line.Due to strategic nature of the project, Indian Public Sector Unit Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) was tasked to implement the project at a cost of Rs 601.75 Crores. Begining September 2011, the company was given an implementation schedule of 12 months and 18 months for the main land and the inland sites respectively. The project involves fitment of high end surveillance gadgets viz. frequency diversity radar, electro optic sensors (CCD day Camera, LLTV and the Thermal Imagers), VHF sets and MET equipment on lighthouses and masts erected on Director General of Lighthouses & Lightships (DGLL) land at 36 locations in main land, 06 locations in Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands and 04 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The data collected is routed to various government agency headquarters.
The phase-II of the project includes establishment of 38 additional Remote Radar sites. 21 sites of the VTMS Gulf of Kutch and Gulf of Khambat would also be integrated. During the Phase-II the Static Radars Chain is also proposed to be supplemented by 08 Mobile Surveillance Systems. Upon Integration of Phase-I and Phase-II, the Chain of Static Sensors would provide near gap free electronic surveillance of the entire Indian coast line up to 25 NM from the Coast.