The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Arnab Neogi, EMBA 2015-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
India’s first Integrated Underwater Harbour Defense and Surveillance System (IUHDSS) was commissioned in Kochi, Kerala. This naval harbor has become the first in the country to get a top-notch defense system and is one of the initiatives to strengthen and beef up coastal security in the western coastline. It’ll be an automated system capable of detecting, identifying, tracking and generating warning for surface and underwater threats. This harbor was commissioned by Vice-Admiral Sunil Lanba, who is current Vice Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy.
IUHDSS was designed by Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) ELTA. The system comprises of a cluster of coastal surveillance radars, high-power underwater sensors and diver detection SONARs. According to reports published in ‘The Hindu’, dated 1st August, 2015, the project is said to cost around Rs 270 crore.
Besides Kochi, other naval harbors at Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and Port Blair are set up to coordinate coastal security operations and will receive real-time images relayed by these sensors.
Similar coastal defense systems are deployed at 150 locations across the world. In India, the decision to cast a network of high-definition underwater sensors around naval jetties was taken as the aftermath of 26/11 with a view to strengthening security around the coast.
The IUHDSS will send images to the multi-agency Joint Operations Centre (JOC). According to JOC there is already the specialized ‘Sagar Prahari Bal’ ensuring security of vital naval installations and assets stationed along the coast. The system will operate under the control of the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Kerala).