BEL, together with the Indian Navy and Coast Guard, has developed a new naval intelligence network to track ships in real time.
Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar inaugurated the Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC), nodal centre of the National Command Control Communications and Intelligence Network (NC3I Network) on Sunday.
Describing it as ‘a bold initiative’ and ‘a reply of this great nation to the Mumbai attack’, Parrikar was candid to admit that the surveillance network has still some gaps which need to be plugged. 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 percent success.
He also called for a change in mindset to correlate the data that would be available through the massive surveillance network to ensure ‘zero tolerance to error’.
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
Parrikar added “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”,.
The NC3I network and IMAC are also linked with the prestigious 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.