New Delhi, Nov 23: Indian Navy received a shot in the arm on Sunday when Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar inaugurated a state-of-the-art naval intelligence network capable of tracking its assets on a real time mode.
Situated at Gurgoan, the facility christened Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC), will be jointly operated by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard.
Navy says that the facility would help step up the coastal security thereby averting incidents like the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai.
"The IMAC 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," a naval spokesperson said.
Chief of The Naval Staff Admiral R K Dhowan said the project will go a long way in beefing up the maritime surveillance. "It will enhance the National Maritime Domain Awareness Project as well," Dhowan said.
Plug the gaps in surveillance network: Parrikar
Terming the initiative as a ‘bold reply' by India to the attacks in Mumbai, Parrikar wanted the gaps in the surveillance network to be plugged.
"It 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 100 percent success," he said.
"Besides coastal security, we have to protect our interests in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). There should be a change in the mindset to correlate the data that would be available through the massive surveillance network to ensure zero tolerance to error," he said.
He asked the Indian Navy to be watchful against the activities of navies from the neighbouring countries in the Indian Ocean. "We have to be watchful and we do not want to be offensive. But, we must be strong enough to deter our enemies from casting an evil eye upon us," the minister said.
Robust network with 51 stations
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 as well as electro-optical cameras.
The network rides on dedicated terrestrial data circuits, as well as, satellite communication, which helps 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.
Backbone to communication
The NC3I network has been integrated by Bangalore-based BEL. Navy says that the project was sanctioned in 2012 is presently fully functional.
The NC3I network and IMAC are linked with the National Maritime Domain Awareness (NMDA) project. In the NMDA project, the NC3I network will function as the communication backbone and the IMAC will continue to be the nodal centre but will be rechristened as the NMDA Centre.