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IMAC will help Navy step up coastal surveillance

Six years after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks brought out glaring gaps in maritime security, the Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC), the nerve centre of the Navy for coastal surveillance and monitoring is ready for commissioning.

Located in Gurgaon, in the neighbourhood of the national capital, the facility will be inaugurated by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday.

The IMAC will be the single point centre interlinking the newly formed coastal radar chain, said Rear Admiral K.K. Pandey while briefing journalists here on Friday.

It will be manned by the Navy and function under the National Security Adviser (NSA). The National Command Control Communication and Intelligence System (NC3I) will eventually become the backbone of National Maritime Domain Awareness (NDMA).

The NC3I will link 20 naval and 31 Coast Guard monitoring stations to generate a seamless real-time picture of the nearly 7,500-km long coastline. The system currently comprises 46 radars and 30 additional radars are planned to fill all the gaps in coastline security.

The hubs are linked by high speed optical fibre networks and satellite links serve as a back-up in case of emergency. Apart from coastal radars and optical sensors, it also draws information from automatic identification systems fitted on merchant ships and has a comprehensive shipping database of world registers of shipping for analysis of traffic.

The network was built by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) which has sourced customised software from the U.S. company Raytheon. The software has added filters to identify threats from the vast number of ocean-going vessels by correlation and data fusion.

Approved by the Defence Acquisition Council in 2012, it has become operational in 15 months at a cost of Rs. 450 crore.

While the IMAC will be the merging point of all maritime intelligence, the NDMA will integrate several agencies into one fold.

Further upgrading of the system and agreement for data sharing with 24 countries in the Indian Ocean region is awaiting clearance from the Prime Minister-led Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), according to Navy sources.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 4:47:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/imac-will-help-navy-step-up-coastal-surveillance/article6622612.ece

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