Parrikar calls for a robust Coastal Security system

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, Nov 27, 2014.



    Sep 22, 2012
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    Detroit MI
    Today is the sixth anniversary of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and India is still struggling to make the entire coastal security a foolproof system. However, when Manohar Parrikar took over as the Minister of Defence (MoD), he made it clear that India needs a robust defence system to protect country from potential enemies. This he said while inaugurating the Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) of Navy in Gurgaon last week.

    “One thing I will promise. I have been given a task. I will see that India is strengthened, and the country is in such a position that people will not dare for a confrontation”, Parrikar said. The Minister advocated a multipronged strategy to deal with security threats in lieu of 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. He asserted that there would be Zero Tolerance to Error ” in defence deals. Making observations, the Minister said that countries with good Navies ruled the world. While referring to a Chinese submarines calling at a Sri Lanka port, he said, “Today probably that is the reason why our neighbours are trying to get their Navy everywhere in the Indian Ocean and other areas.”

    Parrikar praised the IMAC and said he appreciates the “quick and fast delivery” of system because he thinks it should ensure “99.99 per cent” against incidents like the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks by earlier detection. The IMAC has been set up to provide coastal security and to avert tragic incidents like the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai. It is the nodal centre of the National Command Control Communications and Intelligence Network (NC3I Network), and is a joint initiative of Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Bharat Electronics Ltd to improve coastal surveillance.

    Parrikar described it as ‘a bold initiative’ and ‘a reply of this great nation to the Mumbai attack but at the same time, he candidly admitted that the surveillance network has still some gaps which need to be plugged because commercial ships which navigate in the Indian waters pose a serious threat to the country’s security. He said this is an enormous task considering the fact that there are about two to three lakh fishing boats operating in our coast lines and the active cooperation of the State Governments is required to achieve one hundred per cent success.

    Defence Minister also said besides coastal security, we have to protect our interests in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). He said some of our neighbours are trying to get their Navies in the Indian Ocean and our Navy must be watchful of their activities. “We do not want to be offensive but we must be strong enough to deter our enemies from casting
    an evil eye upon us”, he said.

    But to make Defence and its allied services a robust one is no child’s play because there is a need to synergise all the Armed forces with the entire coastal security system because they will be able to play a pivotal role in making the mechanism more integrated, which it currently lacks. In fact, there is no attempt to formally integrate the Coast Guard, which is also been called as the Armed Force of the Union, with the other forces, especially with the Indian Navy (IN).

    Surprisingly, things haven’t changed much since 26/11, despite the fact that there is a cordial relation between Indian Navy and the Coast Guard and joint operations are also conducted without hiccups but in the absence of any formal mechanism, therefore, this can lead to problems in future. Another problem being that Coast Guard component has been kept out of the ambit of Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (HQIDS), meaning that the service is not likely to be placed under the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) as and when it is created. For some unknown reasons, it has been treated like one of the Central Police Organisations (CPOs), even though the service is an Armed Force of the Union and functions under the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

    Therefore, the dearth of resources at sea makes it all the more important for all the Central agencies operating at sea to coordinate more and pool their resources to obtain optimum results. Both Indian Navy and the Coast Guard are diverse in nature but with a common goal to protect the country. The Indian Navy can immensely benefit from the Coast Guard because they have experienced mariners who have gained the knowledge of the sea through extended and extensive sea-time on numerous ships, boats and small craft – experience which cannot be traded. In fact, these mariners can take up any Naval task, with very little additional military training. The Coast Guard can also bring to the Navy a pool of officers with command experience. With numerous smaller ships and patrol vessels, these officers would be an invaluable asset for any sudden expansion of Naval assets and responsibilities in tough times. It is therefore essential that Coast Guard should be able to “dissolve” into the Navy in case of any eventuality and the Navy must be able to “fuse” Coast Guard in times of war by suitably equipping it and frequently exercising with it.

    This becomes more significant when China is trying to dominate the Indian Waters, while conveniently parking its vessels in Sri Lanka.

    Moreover, India’s maritime interests are also growing faster in terms of sea trade and other economic activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). According to analysts, Indian offshore oil assets are spread over an area of over 48,000 square kms and are expected to double by 2015. With growing trade, mostly by sea, which is increasing, therefore, it protection of EEZ is the need of the hour. Any laxity on the India’s part may cripple the economic lifeline of the nation. Thus, there is a need to consolidate Indian maritime defence in the best possible way. It is also being feared with the increase in water activities, terrorism may shift into maritime realm. This will let the terrorists exploit the vulnerabilities of global trade and shipping and disrupt the sea lines of communications. They could even carry out attacks on hub ports.

    However, to counter such threats, India needs to keep its coastline and the waters around under constant surveillance. Proactive and preventive capabilities are essential and the maritime forces have to play a lead role.

    Although the NC3I network links 51 Naval and Coast Guard stations, located along the coast and on island territories. The network provides these stations coastal surveillance information obtained from various sensors, such as the coastal radar chain of the Indian Coast Guard and automatic tracking systems and electro-optical cameras. The network rides on dedicated terrestrial data circuits, as well as, satellite communication, which will help the stations in remote locations to be networked. The IMAC is the centre where data from various sensors and databases is aggregated, correlated and then disseminated to various stations for enhanced awareness. The software on which the coastal surveillance will be carried out incorporates hi-tech features like data fusion, correlation and decision support features thus facilitating better decision making.
    Kshatriya87 likes this.
  3. Kshatriya87

    Kshatriya87 Senior Member Senior Member

    Feb 12, 2014
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    He can only do so much. He is trying to get his hands on all the modern warfare equipment for our defence forces. But the issue was and still remains the delay in getting them inducted. What needs to be done is accelerating this process, which ofcourse Mr. Modi is trying to sort out.
    AVERAGE INDIAN likes this.

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