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Indian Coast Guard in talks with DoT for satellite bandwidth

The Indian Coast Guard is in discussion with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for alloting it the necessary satellite bandwidth for its needs as sending up a dedicated satellite for its use is costly, its chief K. Natarajan said.
Indian Coast Guard in talks with DoT for satellite bandwidth

Talking to reporters here, he said the Indian Coast Guard - the fourth largest coastal security agency in the world - is moving ahead with its Vision 2025 of having a fleet of about 200 ships and 100 aircraft in order of prevent transnational maritime crimes like drug/arms trafficking, piracy and others.

The blue economy is set to boom and all nations are concerned on protecting their coasts against transnational maritime crimes, he added.

"We in discussion with DoT for satellite bandwidth for our use as it works out economical. Sending up a satellite for our own use is costly."

The Director General was here along with his Japanese counterpart Takahiro Okushima to kick off the 19th joint exercise 'Sahyog-Kaijin'.

According to Natarajan, about 50 ships and 16 advanced light helicopters are under various stages of production and the organisation is planning to add more radar stations.

"The first advanced light helicopters will reach us soon," he added.

Presently, the Indian Coast Guard has 145 ships and 62 aircraft and has a budget of about Rs 5,000 crore, he added.

Questioned about the attack on Indian fishermen by neighbouring nations' navies, Natarajan said fishermen go alongwith the fish and each nation will be cautious about those entering its waters.

According to Japan Coast Guard Commandant Okushima, learnings from joint exercises held between the coastal security agencies of two nations is the validation of procedures.

The joint exercise between the Coast Guards of India and Japan began after the apprehension of the pirated vessel MV Alondra Ranbow by the Indian Coast Guard on November 16, 1999 off the west coast of India, said Natarajan.

In this year's joint exercise Japan Coast Guard ship 'Echigo' is participating alonwith Indian Coast Guard's four ships, aircraft and a vessel from the National Institute of Ocean Technology.

On Thursday, the joint exercise involved chasing and securing a pirated vessel using the Indian Coast Guard's Shaurya as the mother vessel, speed boats, helicopters and a Dornier aircraft along with Japan's Echigo vessel, on-board helicopter and speed boats.

The exercise also involved rescue of a 'pirate' who had jumped into the sea by a Coast Guard helicopter and also putting out a mock fire created by the 'pirates' in their escape bid.

( With inputs from IANS )

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