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Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre to become national maritime domain awareness centre

The Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC), the nodal agency for maritime data fusion set up after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, will soon become a National Maritime Domain Awareness (NDMA) centre, with all stakeholders having their presence there, two defence officials said on Thursday.

“Today we are well-equipped to ensure that a dastardly act like 26/11 doesn’t occur again. The IMAC will soon transform into a national NDMA centre, wherein it will be a multi-agency centre,” one of them said.

Approved by the Defence Acquisition Council in 2012, the IMAC became operational in 2014 at a cost of ₹450 crore and is located in Gurugram. It is the nodal centre of the National Command Control Communication and Intelligence System (NC3I), which was established to link the operational Centres and lower echelons of the Navy and the Coast Guard spread across the country’s coastline, including the island territories. The IMAC tracks vessels on the high seas and gets data from the coastal radars, white shipping agreements, Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) transponders fitted on merchant ships, air and traffic management system and global shipping databases.

After the 26/11 terror attack, all fishing vessels more than 20m long were mandated to have AIS transponders installed, while efforts were on to have such system on under 20m fishing vessels as well. At any point of time there are around 11,000-12,000 vessels present in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) as of now, which shows the magnitude of the challenge in tracking vessels.

Maritime traffic transparency

As part of improving transparency on maritime traffic on the high seas, the Navy had been authorised to conclude white shipping agreements with 36 countries and three multilateral constructs. So far they have been concluded with 22 countries and one multilateral construct, of which 17 and the one multilateral agreement had been operationalised, another official said.

Under Phase-I, 46 coastal radar stations were set up. Phase-II of the coastal radar chain network, under which 38 static radar stations and four mobile radar stations were being set up by the Coast Guard and they were in advanced stage of completion, the official stated.

In 2018, the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean region (IFC-IOR) was set up within the premises of the IMAC to coordinate with regional countries on maritime country and act as a regional repository of maritime data. It presently has linkages with 21 partner countries and 22 multi-national agencies across the globe.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 2:18:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/navys-imac-to-become-national-maritime-domain-awareness-centre/article33186731.ece

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