The coastal radar surveillance system being installed in Maldives with the assistance of Indian government will be operated by Maldivian officers, says Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF).
Speaking during a press conference by the MNDF at the Coastguard Building this Wednesday, Vice Chief of Defense Force, Brigadier-General Abdul Raheem Abdul Latheef said the radar system will be operated and managed by the MNDF.
Radars will be kept in Gan of Addu City, L. Kadhdhoo, H. A. Uligam and H. Dh. Makunudhoo and several other key locations.
Three radars are now operational, while installation of the rest of the radars are in progress.
Abdul Raheem Abdul Latheef said locations to install the radars were decided by the MNDF.
“The three previously installed radars have now been made operational. Total 10 radars will be installed. Once installation is complete, there will be no Indian officer involved in any of its operations, maintenance or management. It will be operated solely by Maldivian officers,” said Abdul Raheem Abdul Latheef.
Chief of Defense Force, Major-General Abdulla Shamaal said the placement of the radars were strategic, covering key locations stretching from North to South of Maldives.
He stressed the need of the radar system to address illegal activities in the Indian Ocean, and specifically the Maldives Exclusive Economic Zone including drug trafficking, illegal fishing and illegal sale of fuel.
Shamaal said the coastal radar surveillance system will play a key role in stopping such illegal activities in the future.
“There are many illegal activities taking place in the Indian Ocean. Once the radars are properly installed and the pictures clear, we will be able to surveille the area with ease,” said Shamaal.
Shamaal noted that 99.7 percent of Maldives was water territory, making surveillance an enormous challenge.
He said the MNDF was working on improving its capacity to address the challenge.