Kochi gets India’s first harbour defence system

The naval harbour here has become the first in the country to get a top-notch defence system — which will enable operators to foresee, and respond to, surface and sub-surface threats to vital assets along the harbour and warships in the quay.

As first reported by The Hindu in September last year, the Integrated Underwater Harbour Defence and Surveillance System (IUHDSS), a state-of-the-art automated system capable of detecting, identifying, tracking and generating warning for surface and underwater threats, was commissioned by Vice-Admiral Sunil Lanba, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command, on Friday.

The system, comprising a cluster of coastal surveillance radars, high-power underwater sensors and diver detection sonars, was designed by Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) ELTA.

In other harbours too

Besides Kochi, naval harbours at Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and Port Blair are slated to be equipped with the system as a force protection measure. The multi-agency Joint Operations Centre (JOC), set up at these places to coordinate coastal security operations, will receive real-time images relayed by these sensors and the command and control of the operations launched in response to threats will vest with the coastal defence Commanders-in-Chief – Flag Officers Commanding-in-Chief of the three naval commands and the Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar joint services command.

The project is said to cost around Rs 270 crore, said sources.

Similar coastal defence systems are deployed at 150 locations across the world. In India, the decision to cast a network of electro-optical sensors, thermal imaging sensors, radar and high-definition underwater sensors around naval jetties was taken in the aftermath of 26/11 with a view to strengthening security around the coast and high-value naval assets.

A naval spokesperson said the IUHDSS, along with the specialised Sagar Prahari Bal, would help augment security of the coast around the naval installations in Kochi. “The system was contracted by the Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence in 2012. The system will operate under the control of the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Kerala),” a defence communication said.

The multi-agency Joint Operations Centre (JOC) set up in coastal States to coordinate coastal security operations

The IUHDSS will relay images to the multi-agency Joint Operations Centre (JOC)

The multi-agency Joint Operations Centres (JOC) at these naval locations “There is already the specialised Sagar Prahari Bal ensuring security of vital naval installations and assets stationed along the coast. The underwater sensor network will help neutralise asymmetric sub-surface threats,” said a source.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 5:56:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/kochi-gets-indias-first-harbour-defence-system/article7488137.ece

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