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India plans to use Israeli spy sats for coastal surveillance

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Heron TP Drones.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Aiming to enhance surveillance capabilities along the coastline, India is planning to use Israeli spy satellites to keep an eye over its maritime boundary with Pakistan.

Under the plan, New Delhi is looking to use the spy satellite coverage over the maritime region off the coast of Gujarat near Kutch, the region which was used by the terrorists involved in the 26/11 terror attacks to enter India through the sea route, sources told PTI here.

A discussion in this regard between the two sides was held recently during the visit of a high-level Indian Defence delegation to Israel, they added.

Post 2008 Mumbai attacks, cooperation between India and Israel in anti-terrorism efforts has been on the rise and New Delhi is taking Tel Aviv's help in securing its maritime and land borders with Pakistan.

Once in place, the planned system would help the sea-guarding agencies such as the Navy and the Coast Guard to keep an eye over a large area and keep a check on the vessels moving through the region and also verify their identity, they said.

The satellites would also be used to forewarn the authorities in case of any suspicious movement of ships or smaller vessels moving from Pakistan towards India.

With the satellites covering all the suspicious routes which the terrorists can possibly use in future, it will help the Navy and the Coast Guard to locate, check, and if necessary, destroy such vessels.

The Navy is going to commission its squadron of its Israeli Searcher and Heron unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) tomorrow at Porbandar in Gujarat for enhancing its capabilities to tighten the vigil over the maritime traffic there.

India has a over 7,500-km long coastline, which was not well-guarded till recently and after the Mumbai attacks, several steps are being taken by the Centre to plug the gaps in coastal security.

With an increased threat perception, the Government has sanctioned procurement of equipment including fast attack craft, offshore patrol vessels and reconnaissance aircraft for the Navy and the Coast Guard.

The Navy is also raising a new force called the Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB) to protect naval bases and the coastline areas.

The SPB will be deployed to carry out shallow water operations in both day and night for seaward anti-terrorist patrols for security of naval assets, besides interception at high speeds and perform search and rescue operations.

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India  UAV  Security  Navy  
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