Sources say Navy inked a Rs 700-crore contract for the naval airfield integrated security system with defence PSU Bharat Electronics last week. But the contract for the much larger project to enhance security at the 54 main flying bases of IAF, likely to cost Rs 150 crore per airbase, is still some distance away from being finalised.
Navy’s integrated security system will include “smart fences” with CCTV cameras, infra-red devices, motion-detectors, anti-penetration, thermal and other sensors, backed by drones and other surveillance devices.
“This comprehensive mu-lti-layered security system, with real time monitoring through state-of-the-art command and control centers, will help guard the naval air stations much better against terror attacks,” said a source.
The system will be in place at naval air stations in Goa (INS Hansa), Mumbai (INS Shikra), Arakkonam (INS Rajali) and Visakhapatnam (INS Dega) by January 2020. Port Blair (INS Utkrosh) and Kochi (INS Garuda), in turn, will get it by July 2020.
While naval air stations house a variety of helicopters, drones and Dornier-228 patrol aircraft, INS Hansa also has 45 MiG-29K jets that operate from aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya as well as five IL-38 patrol aircraft.
Navy’s eight P-8I aircraft, packed with weapons and sensors to hunt enemy submarines, in turn, are based at INS Rajali in Tamil Nadu. After induction of the eight P-8Is in 2013-2015 under a $2.1 billion deal, the base is now slated to get four more such aircraft by 2021-2022 for another $1 billion.
The series of terror strikes on military bases and camps, from Pathankot and Uri to Nagrota and Akhnoor in recent years, has exposed their lack of proper perimeter security infrastructure, upgraded standard operating procedures, regular security audits and seamless coordination between intelligence and security agencies.