Navy to buy five Israeli balloon radars for coastal watch

January 20th, 2009 - 8:32 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS)In the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, the Indian Navy, for the first time, is buying five radars mounted on tethered balloons as part of its efforts to make the country’s 7,516-km long coastline impregnable, an official said.The Israeli Aerostat radars have a three-directional detection range of over 500 km and can track low flying aircraft.

“We will be buying five balloon-mounted radars. Two radars will be deployed on the western coast and three on the eastern coastline,” a senior naval official said, requesting anonymity.

The navy will utilise the radars to bolster its early warning capability along India’s coastline.

“The radars were on the navy’s shopping list for long but the proposal was fast-tracked following the Mumbai attacks. The deal will be signed shortly,” the official added.

Over 170 people, including 26 foreign nationals, were killed in the Nov 26-29 Mumbai carnage that India has blamed on elements from Pakistan. Islamabad has also owned up to the nationality of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist captured during the mayhem.

India has also submitted a detailed dossier on the involvement of Pakistani nationals in the attacks. Pakistan’s interior minister has formed a special three-member team to study the dossier.

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