Indian Ocean has always been vulnerable to criminals and anti-national activities. The Indian Ocean is an area of conflict. According to a recent analysis of global conflicts by the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research, altogether 42% of world conflicts can be associated with Indian Ocean countries. Numerous cases of the smuggling of goods, gold, narcotics, explosives, arms and ammunition as well as the infiltration of terrorists into the country through these coasts have been reported over the years. The cost of piracy has been estimated at between 0.1 % and 0.2% of the total maritime trade.
As geopolitical control changed from the Atlantic to the Pacific, policy-makers in the European Union (EU) ought to pay closer attention to the vast maritime region that lies in between the Indian Ocean. All major powers rely on the so-called Great Connector that stretches from the Cape of Good Hope to the Strait of Malacca. Emerging economies in East Asia are acquiring more purchasing power and have the need to secure increasing energy needs.
For instance, smaller naval powers, such as Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea are also expanding their activities in the region. Post-Cold War, the maritime security environment in the Indian Ocean underwent a transformation, and this has given rise to non-conventional security challenges in the Indian Ocean, such as piracy, human and drug trafficking, as well as maritime terrorism. The precarious security situation along the Horn of Africa is particularly bad. Violent insurgencies are commonplace and they threaten the political stability of the entire region. Lack of a comprehensive multilateral maritime security strategy across oceans is making this maritime force projection vulnerable. These dynamics are boosting the maritime security market over the forecast period
Malacca Strait is located between Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. It is one of the world’s most important international shipping routes, with 65,000 vessels passing through annually, carrying about one-third of the world trade and half of global energy supplies. It also connects Indian Ocean with the Pacific. This region has a reputation of piracy with most cases reported are ‘hit-and-run’ robberies of fishing boats and commercial vessels. The sector also reports significant number of incidents of insider threats
Maritime security is understood as a state of affairs of the global maritime domain, in which international law and national law are enforced, freedom of navigation is guaranteed and citizens, infrastructure, transport, the environment and marine resources are protected. It includes protection against maritime security risks and threats, including the protection of critical maritime infrastructure, such as specific areas in ports and port facilities, off-shore installations, energy supply by the sea, underwater pipelines, seabed cables, as well as the promotion of scientific research and innovation projects. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) while charting the guidelines for the utilisation of oceans in 2030 has identified knowledge development, innovation, advancement in technology and improved maritime security as key drivers to develop ocean economy.
“Maritime Security has different dimensions, including but not limited to Maritime Situational Awareness (MSA), Law enforcement, maritime safety, maritime environment, maritime science & technology, maritime trade & economy, maritime law and public health. Therefore, in national terms, Maritime Security can only be achieved by a “whole of government” approach. If we succeed in applying this approach together with like-minded countries in a multi-national environment, we can attain our common Maritime Security objectives”
“There can be no Maritime Security without Maritime Situational Awareness.”
Maritime security provides advanced technology to detect hazards and communicate with officials. It also renders services that help to combat potential threats. The different types of maritime security include port and critical infrastructure security, coastal surveillance and vessel security. The technologies and systems used for maritime security include access control, communications, detectors, geographic information systems, screening and scanning, smart containers, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), surveillance and tracking and weather monitoring among others.
The number one threat for India is the expanding Chinese footprint in the Indian Ocean, a strategy dubbed as ‘string of pearls’ tightening around India’s neck. On its part, India favours an open, rule-based and multilateral order governing the ocean. This goal is reflected in India’s leadership of several organisations like Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, Indian Ocean. SAGAR (security and growth for all in the region), a slogan given by Prime Minister Modi has become the leitmotif of India’s maritime diplomacy. It has taken several steps to address the needs of other littorals with regards to capacity to monitor and respond to maritime challenges.
“The Indian Navy has effectively carried out mission-based deployment to protect maritime interests by deploying naval ships and aircraft at sensitive locations. Deployments have helped increase maritime domain awareness, provided rapid humanitarian aid,” Rajnath Singh said while inaugurating the Naval Commanders’ conference here, being held in the backdrop of simmering tensions in Eastern Ladakh following Chinese intrusions in the area.
In June 2020, India and Australia on Thursday have inked a landmark agreement which allows both sides access to military bases for logistics support. This was one among the seven agreements inked at the end of the first-ever bilateral Virtual Summit between India and Australia. “There is great potential in the future of the India-Australia relationship particularly in the maritime domain. The geographic location of both countries relative to each other provides the ability for effective Maritime Domain Awareness over a large swath of the Indo-Pacific” opines an expert. This Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) is expected to help in the interoperability and will help the military platforms to receive support and supplies in both countries.
The two countries have been keen on expanding maritime security and safety and towards this the two navies will deepen their cooperation and work towards further strengthening maritime domain awareness in the Indo-Pacific region which will be possible through a further exchange of information.
Indian Maritime security threats
India faces a number of threats and challenges that originate from the sea and which are mainly sub-conventional in nature. These threats and challenges can be categorised under following broad categories: maritime terrorism; piracy and armed robbery; smuggling and trafficking; infiltration, illegal migration and refugee influx; and the straying of fishermen beyond the maritime boundary. Of these, maritime terrorism has been featured as the most potent threat.
The smuggling of explosives through the Raigad coast in Maharashtra and their use in the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai, and the infiltration of the 10 Pakistani terrorists through the sea route who carried out the multiple coordinated attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, are the most glaring examples of how vulnerable the country’s coasts are.
India faces many threats and challenges from its maritime domain. The terrorist organisations could misuse hundreds of Indian fishing boats seized over the years by the Pakistani Navy and Coast Guard for allegedly straying into Pakistani territorial waters. In fact, the thinking within the national security establishment was that these fishing boats could be used by Pakistan based terrorists to infiltrate into Indian waters through Indian Ocean.
Lashkar-e-Toiba, (LeT) is planning to use the sea-route to infiltrate and attack India’s oil assets in Bombay High, sabotage ports and target high value assets such as the atomic power plants located on the coast or attack INS Vikrant. Intelligence agencies had informed the government that nearly 500 LeT terrorists were being trained in the Azizabad coastal camps near Karachi to execute acts of maritime terrorism within India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as well as attack high value assets along India’s more than 7,000 kms mainland coastline.
Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) , surveillance and information sharing technologies
To understand the risks, challenges and vulnerabilities that we face today, it is necessary to have a comprehensive maritime picture of what is happening at sea. Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA )implies monitoring activities at sea, fusing information provided by different agencies and analysing this data in order to identify patterns, trends, anomalies and suspicious activities. This knowledge is not only important for policy formulation, but also to increase the efficacy of maritime operations, preventive patrols and inspections and to improve responsiveness to maritime incidents. Quick reaction capabilities are vital in the marine environment to prevent environmental disasters and in search and rescue situations, and to ensure the timely arrest of maritime crime suspects.
Access to timely and accurate information and intelligence is crucial for the establishment of a common maritime awareness picture which in turn leads to better operations and a more efficient use of scarce resources, MDA is enabled by the combination of information from land, sea-based, airborne, and satellite sensor systems, augmented with heterogeneous information from geographical information systems (GIS) and vessel information repositories. But in any case, knowledge of positions and behaviours of vessels is a cornerstone. Integrated satellites, networked sensors and innovation in related maritime technologies has eased the task of law enforcement agencies but the real challenge remains to detect and track small objects and distinguish possible threats from legitimate activities like shipping, fishing and other maritime activities.
In accordance with a number of global, regional and national regulations, particular classes of vessels have to be equipped with shipborne transponders that transmit the vessel’s identity and position at certain repeat intervals. One of the most common tracking systems is the Automatic Identification System (AIS), which is designed to automatically provide continuous information on location to other vessels and to coastal authorities.
Indian Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA)
India has been taking steps to improve its MDA. The government has plans to establish a National Maritime Authority (NMA) that will help with policy-making and coastal security coordination among the stakeholders. It is also focusing on the development of National Maritime Domain Awareness (NMDA) under which Indian Navy has established the National Command Control Communication Intelligence (NC3I) network that hosts Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC). IMAC has an Information Fusion Centre (IFC) that collects, fuses and disseminates intelligence information received from multiple sources. India intends to buttress the NMDA by initiating multilateral cooperation agreements.
The country has set maritime security as its foremost agenda and it’s conspicuous for its involvement in defence meetings of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), East Asia Summit and ASEAN. In addition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visits to the Maldives, Seychelles and Sri Lanka had top priority given to maritime security concerns.
Indian MDA Capability development
Effective MDA capability requires multi platform and multi sensor capability.There are eight elements that must be integrated for effective results.
Two of the six different satellites types employ passive sensors:
Automatic Identification System (AIS)
Automatic Identification System (AIS), an automated short message system designed for collision avoidance and traffic control in congested waters but is now also used globally as a primary ship identification and tracking system. The National Automatic Identification system (NAIS) network has successfully been implemented in India providing it with an AIS maritime picture over the entire Indian coastline. It involves both the Indian Navy and Coast Guards. India, however, should extend its cover beyond IOR to the South China Sea and Western Pacific Ocean.
Satellite – Automatic Identification System (SAT-AIS)
The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a short-range coastal tracking system currently used on ships. It was developed to provide identification and positioning information to both vessels and shore stations. Ships of 300 gross tonnage or more sailing on international voyages, cargo ships of 500 gross tonnage or more sailing in local waters, and all passenger ships irrespective of size are mandated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to carry AIS equipment. AIS transponders automatically broadcast information at regular intervals. Navigational status data is transmitted every 2 to 180 seconds, depending on a vessel’s activity. In addition, voyage related data is broadcast every 6 minutes. These signals are received by AIS transponders installed on other ships or by land-based systems.
The AIS signals have a horizontal range of about 40 nautical miles (74 km), meaning that AIS traffic information is only available around coastal zones or in a ship-to-ship zone. AIS communication takes place using two VHF frequencies, 161.975 MHz and 162.025 MHz, using a bandwidth of 25 kHz. Although only one radio channel is necessary, each station transmits and receives over two radio channels to avoid interference problems, and to allow channels to be shifted among ships without loss of communication.
Space-based AIS (SAT-AIS) will make it possible to track seafaring vessels beyond coastal areas that are equipped with AIS tracking devices. SAT AIS is a promising solution to overcome terrestrial coverage limitations with the potential to provide AIS service for any given area on Earth. S-AIS now not only focuses on the prevention of vessel collisions, but also provides protection by alerting maritime security forces of purposeful violation occurrences of maritime boundaries. It is also being used by states to manage and control maritime traffic and helps with navigation using a special application called AIS Aids and Navigation (A to N), which further helps in search and rescue operations.
When S-AIS is applied innovatively it can help authorities to identify any potential threat, which eventually aids the improvement of MDA leading to heightened security. But even S-AIS faces a challenge: serving many AIS cells simultaneously leads to a collision of messages making it difficult to decode them. This needs to be addressed possibly by using the technique based on Blind Source Separation (BSS). To enhance S-AIS system these five factors must be taken care of: (a) continuous global coverage and superior detection rates, (b) real-time downlinks, (c) ability to detect all AIS broadcasters, (d) ability to handle rapidly expanding Application Specific Messages (ASM), and (e) ability to adapt to evolving uses of the maritime VHF Spectrum.
India doesn’t have an S-AIS system of its own, but plans for it are underway. In 2019, India and France formalized around 10 LEO satellites having space-based AIS technology to monitor vessels in the Indian Ocean. India is currently using exactEarth of Canada. exactEarth signed a contract in 2016 with Antrix Corporation Ltd., the commercial arm of ISRO to provide S-AIS data services to the Indian Navy.
National space agency ISRO and its French counterpart CNES in july 2019 sealed an agreement to set up a joint maritime surveillance system in the country in May. The two nations will explore putting up a constellation of low-Earth orbiting satellites that will identify and track movement of ships globally – and in particular those moving in the Indian Ocean region where France has its Reunion Islands. Before that, they will initially share data from their present space systems and develop new algorithms to analyse them, according to the Paris based National Centre for Space Studies.
K.Sivan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, and Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES of France, signed the agreement in Bengaluru. “The CNES-ISRO agreement [intends] to supply an operational system for detecting, identifying and tracking ships in the Indian Ocean. [It] provides for a maritime surveillance centre to be set up in India; sharing of capacity to process existing satellite data and joint development of associated algorithms,” the CNES statement said.
Non-cooperative MDA systems
Concerning (non-cooperative) observing systems, the main sensors for maritime surveillance are, apart from visual sighting, optical camera, infrared camera and radar. These can be deployed from shore, ship, aircraft or satellite. Each sensor type and each platform has its own strengths and drawbacks, related to characteristics such as spatial resolution, update rate, range, coverage, persistence, latency and cost.vINS Trikand is a stealth frigates of Indian Navy equipped with modern weapons and sensors.
P8-I Maritime Patrol Aircraft incorporates the latest technology for Maritime Surveillance. The Indian Navy at present operates eight P-8I long-range maritime aircraft, and had projected a requirement of 10 more aircraft. The additional P8I aircraft would greatly strengthen the Indian Navy’s capabilities for maritime coastal surveillance, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface vessel (ASV) strike. The acquisition of heavy helicopters would also help the Coast Guard to undertake missions to prevent maritime terrorism and infiltration of terrorists by sea routes.
For IN, unmanned systems constitute the holy grail of futuristic warfare. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are a source of enduring interest because of their ability to remain on station for extended periods and provide crucial data in real time.
The Navy’s three UAV squadrons in Kochi (Kerala), Porbandar (Gujarat) and Ramanathapuram (Tamil Nadu) operate Heron and the Searcher MK II vehicles for coastal surveillance. Each squadron has eight Searchers II and six Heron UAVs, with each unmanned platform possessing a capability to operate at an altitude ceiling of 15,000 ft to 30,000 ft. reportedly, plans are in place to induct at least two more squadrons of UAVs to be controlled from ships to increase the range of surveillance. These units would be specifically employed in reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence gathering missions in the far littorals.
IN also plans to induct strategic unmanned systems, including a fleet of high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) maritime UAVs as well as rotary-wing tactical UAS. Since 2010, Indian naval officials have been in discussions with their US counterparts for the possible transfer of a fleet of high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) maritime UAVs—the modified Global Hawk developed under the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) programme.
In March 2015, IN invited bids for ship-borne UAVs that can augment various patrolling and search-related tactics on its vessels. In order to enhance ISR capabilities and monitoring of Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC), as also to improve EEZ safety, anti-piracy and anti-terrorism patrols, naval managers have expressed the need for ship-launched UAVs that can enable communication between sea-borne platforms and other friendly vessels, aircraft and satellites, especially IN’s dedicated naval satellite.
Satellite based sensors
satellite based MDA requires: Unclassified Signals Intelligence satellites (SIGINTSats), Synthetic aperture radar satellites (SARsats), Electro-optical (EO) imaging satellites, Video optical satellites and the communications satellites. Satellite-based sensors have the specific advantages of remote access, global reach, regular update and high data collection volume, so that in some scenarios they are the only feasible option and in others the most economic one. The usage of satellite images is therefore an essential tool to find vessels on the sea.
In particular, satellite-based radar images, usually as Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), have become popular for maritime surveillance: ships are detected relatively easily, and independently of the presence of clouds or daylight. Nonetheless, this method has a number of drawbacks: radar images are subject to a high level of intrinsic noise (speckle), ship detection is severely hampered by high wind and sea state, small targets are difficult to detect, false alarms are difficult to recognise, the classification of ship type is difficult and identification is impossible (Greidanus, 2005).
But the interest in the potential of optical images for maritime surveillance has dramatically increased recently, maybe in the first place due to the increase in optical imaging satellites. The most frequent image types can be divided into four categories: optical and reflected infrared, hyperspectral, thermal infrared, and radar.
Optical implies the visible spectrum detectable by the human eye (wavelengths approximately 400–700 nm), and reflected infrared covers the near- and short-wave infrared bands, up to 3 μm. These sensors are passive, meaning they rely on external illumination, generally from the Sun. The images are essentially photos (nowadays digital), and from a coastal location or from a ship they are partly being replaced by video (always in the context of vessel detection and maritime surveillance). A large number of imaging systems can produce data for vessel detection.
Optical sensors perform acquisition at daytime, as long as there are good weather conditions (absence of heavy clouds). Bad weather conditions (clouds, winds and waves) and reflection of the sun on the water (sunglint) can strongly influence the detection performance. Regarding airborne platforms, recently there has been a growth of research into vessel detection from UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)
Video cameras that detect mobile vessels are usually mounted on the coast, in ports, on aircraft/UAVs and sometimes on buoys or other floating platforms. Video-based techniques where sequences of image frames are analysed are well studied in road vehicle detection, but for vessel detection, video analysis still remains a challenging and complex task.
Hyperspectral sensors, in which an imaging spectrometer collects hundreds of narrow wavelength bands for the same spatial area, aim to exploit the spectral information content to the maximum. Such images are extremely complex and require advanced processing for analysis (González et al., 2013). It is a growing field in remote sensing, but they are not yet in general use. Their spatial resolution from orbit is too low to have allowed much development for ship detection, although a few attempts can be found (e.g. Marin-Mcgee, 2013, Wang et al., 2016).
Thermal infrared does not depend on solar illumination but on emission from the imaged objects themselves. It is therefore mainly attractive as night-time application. From aircraft, the moniker FLIR (Forward Looking InfraRed) is often used (also covering near-infrared), although such cameras may be pointed in any direction with a gimbal and they usually have a video function. From satellite, thermal infrared imaging is hampered by low resolution and by the atmosphere – concerning the latter not only by clouds but also by moisture.
In the maritime domain, fusion of optical data and other available data usually involves the AIS and the VMS that provide the most frequent observations. Another desired fusion area would be the fusion of optical and SAR data.
From the point of view of image analysis, object detection has been one of the most popular research topics and challenging tasks in remote sensing science in the last decades. Ship detection is a special case of (small) object detection, where the background has the particular characteristics of the sea surface.
The demand for automated analytical methods for remote sensing data is driven by the plethora of existing Earth-orbiting sensors and their daily generation of terabytes of data with different spatial, spectral, radiometric and temporal resolution (Hay et al., 2005). The detection systems are therefore faced with the need to process massive amounts of incoming data, often with the requirement to react in near-real time (Bi et al., 2010). Automated real-time vessel detection is a key point to various maritime missions.
The word ‘detection’ is used in the literature sometimes in a wide and sometimes in a narrow sense. The complete vessel detection procedure refers to the detection in the wide sense, and is composed of three main sequential steps: Vessel detection (in the narrow sense): finding vessel candidates in the image and locating them; Vessel classification: discriminating detected targets between vessel/non-vessel and then getting the class of the vessel (e.g. fishing, tanker, cargo); and Vessel identification: establishing the unique identity of the vessel (e.g. International Maritime Organization (IMO) number, Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number, name).
Network Centric Operations
U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has developed the concept of network centric warfare (NCW) defined as “military operations that exploit state-of-the-art information and networking technology to integrate widely dispersed human decision makers, situational and targeting sensors, and forces and weapons into a highly adaptive, comprehensive system to achieve unprecedented mission effectiveness”
Network-centric operations must be based on the transformation of both raw and processed data into “knowledge.” That is, the masses of information from often dispersed sources must be integrated, interpreted, and presented to combat leaders in a common operational picture that will enable them to discern meaningful patterns of enemy activity in conditions that are disordered and confused, and to act effectively on that information. This knowledge, coupled with their own experience, judgment, and intuition, will allow well-trained leaders to adapt to the situation at hand, identifying and exploiting enemy vulnerabilities while guarding against exploitation of their own. All the design concepts, equipment, and supporting elements of NCO systems must support this capability.
Multi Sensor Fusion and Analysis
The last two elements deal with the tasking of the satellites and analysis of their collected data plus information from other sources. A single sensor hasn’t the ability to direct the application of precision weapons, therefore data must be integrated from a number of sensors and databases. The sensor grid’s capability to perform data fusion is critical to its capability to rapidly generate high levels of awareness.
The software tools to correlate, fuse and analyze the information generated by the space systems, including S-AIS track data, the basis for all analysis, along with all other pertinent data resident in all reachable data sources such as port, financial, shipping and broker records. To overcome these challenges, Integration of different data sources in the maritime domain on the basis of existing national and international law is a key task, resulting in a better understanding of what is happening at sea. The more information is aggregated and integrated, the more complete is the maritime picture created and more value is delivered to the operational end-users, in a cost efficient way.
Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics
India’s own solution to better maritime awareness and mission planning is maturing with the use of Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics. The Indian assets will be well informed about all kinds of merchants ships, warships, submarines and aircraft around the Indian assets. This system will be the most modern and sophisticated phase of the Maritime Domain Awareness Programme. The system is named Trigun and is reaching its most advanced phase. A scientist said, “We will start the third phase of the system in December this year which will be able to sieve out the data of the movement of warships, submarines and aircraft of more than 20 years.
Third phase, planned between 2020 and 2024, will have integrated Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics and will have a integrated naval common operational picture. The running second phase is Indian maritime situational awareness system ending in March 2020. This will develop a capability to point any change or predict of a future response related to Indian maritime. The Trigun System has been designed and developed indigenously by the Centre for Artifical Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR) functioning under the DRDO aimed to enhance battlespace transparency with better network-centric warfare tools riding on high-speed data communication systems and their integration.
It has the capability to collect data about the all kinds of civil and military vessel, submarines and aircraft and then the information is collated in special nodes. The outcome of analysed information and the observations can then be shared with the Indian navy’s warships, submarines and aircraft through the indigenous satellite, told the scientist working on the system. This sophistication has been incremental part of the Maritime Domain Awareness Programme.
M2M communication satellites. Individual transponders sending short formatted status reports to communications satellites
The data collected by MDA sensors also need to be communicated to processing and analysis stations and finally to the ships and platforms. India finally launched its first dedicated military satellite GSAT-7 or ‘Rukmini’ in 2013. A geo-stationary communication satellite, the GSAT-7 enables real-time networking of all Indian warships, submarines and aircraft with operational centres ashore, providing IN with an almost 2,000-nautical-mile-footprint over the critical IOR. With UHF, S, Ku and C-band transponders, the Rukmini’s ‘over-the-sea’ usage will soon be complemented by the GSAT-7A, a satellite dedicated for IAF and Indian Army operations.
The ground infrastructure, (terminals), software tools and licenses to allow users of the system to determine which spacecraft to task when to obtain the desired results, and to so act.
India Navy’s Information Fusion Centre For Indian Ocean Region
The Information Fusion Centre for the Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR), an initiative of the Indian Navy and supported by the Government of India launched in December 2018, has started functioning. The IFC-IOR has been established at Gurugram along with the Information Management and Analysis Centre, jointly administered by the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard.
The Indian Navy website states following functions of the centre:
- Confidence and capacity building amongst partner nations, thereby ensuring swift and accurate exchange of information pertaining to maritime security.
- Maintaining extensive and continuous linkages to ensure comprehensive maritime domain awareness of the region thereby achieving transparency of maritime environment.
- Use of high tech including state of the art methods and analytic tools to undertake traffic analysis thereby ensuring that any emerging threats and trends are predicted in time.
Recently, at the Goa Maritime Conclave (GMC), National Security Adviser Ajit Doval asked the countries in the IOR to use of the facility to track movement of vessels on the high seas. “The centre is actively interacting with the maritime community and has already built linkages with 18 countries and 15 multinational/maritime security centres,” an official was quoted as saying by the The Hindu. Reportedly, Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Seychelles have already joined the initiative while talks are on with Bangladesh and Thailand.
We have come a long way in coastal security as well with the induction of fast interceptor crafts and ISVs (Immediate Support Vessels). The Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB) has been set up. Along with the Coastal Guard, the radar chain and the IMAC (Information Management and Analysis Centre) have been operationalised. There’s transparency in maritime domain awareness in the coastal security zone. We are better-integrated with multiple agencies involved in coastal security and the coastal States. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been set up. But we still have to travel some distance for a perfect system of coastal security in place
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