About: Coastal radar chain network

In News

  • In order to expand the coastal radar chain network, efforts are in advanced stages to set up coastal radar stations in Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Thailand.
  • Similar proposals are being developed for some more countries.

About: Coastal radar chain network

  • After the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which terrorists used a fishing boat to enter the city, the government decided to set up a chain of static sensors to improve coastal surveillance and keep track of boats entering Indian territorial waters.
  • Under Phase-I of the coastal radar chain network, 46 coastal radar stations have been set up across the country’s coastline.
  • Under the ongoing Phase-II of the project, 38 static radar stations and four mobile radar stations are being set up by the Coast Guard.
  • The information received from the various stations and sensors is collated at the Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC).
  • The data is used by the Navy for real-time monitoring of the sea for threats and overall maritime domain awareness.
  • Radar stations of the network in other Other Indian Ocean countries:
    • India is also setting up similar radar stations in friendly Indian Ocean littoral nations, which are integrated into India’s own radar network.
      • A littoral nation is a country with land territory adjacent to a particular maritime area.

    • Mauritius, Seychelles and Sri Lanka have already been integrated into the India’s coastal radar chain network.

Measures for maritime data exchange:

  • As part of information exchange regarding traffic on the high seas, the Navy has been authorised by the government to conclude white shipping agreements with 36 countries and three multilateral constructs.
  • So far, agreements have been concluded with 22 countries and one multilateral construct. Of these, 17 agreements and the one multilateral construct have been operationalised.
  • International Liaison Officers (ILO) from France, Japan and the U.S. have already joined Navy’s Information Fusion Centre for the Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR). Three more International Liaison Officers (ILO) are expected to join soon.

About: Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC)

  • IMAC, based in Gurgaon, was established in 2014, and is the nodal centre for maritime security information collation and distribution.
  • It is jointly operated by the Navy and Coast Guard.

IMAC’s Functions:

  • IMAC’s task is to facilitate exchange of maritime security information among various national stakeholders, and develop a common operational picture.
  • IMAC focuses on ships passing through the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). At its headquarters, officers can look at all ships that transmit signals to an Automatic Identification System (AIS) when passing through IOR.
  • It can look at information including route, destination, nationality and ownership for each vessel.
  • It can also check if a vessel has changed its identity, or if it has been involved in law-enforcement issues in other countries.
  • It is important to note that IMAC tracks only non-military or commercial ships, known as white shipping. Military ships, are tracked by the Directorate of Naval Operations, as this is on a classified (secret) network.

About: IFC-IOR

  • The Navy’s Information Fusion Centre for the Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) was inaugurated in 2018, within the premises of IMAC, to promote Maritime Domain Awareness.
  • It is the single point centre linking all coastal radar chain networks along the 7,500 km Indian coastline. It tracks and monitors 75,000 – 1.5 lakh shipping vessels in real time round the clock.
  • It interacts with the maritime community and has already built linkages with various countries and multinational and maritime security centres.

 Defence & Security