|Defense Technology International Sep 01 , 2011 , p. 32|
| India adding formidable security capabilities |
|Printed headline: Forging Ahead|
| India’s homeland security challenges can be summed up by a recent oil spill. Surveillance of the Mumbai coast proved lacking when oil from a sinking cargo ship fouled the waters and remained undetected by authorities for a week. |
The incident shows that much remains to be done when it comes to surveillance—and thus security—despite the fact that Mumbai was the scene of a 2008 terror attack that killed 164, and in July suffered three bombings that killed 17.
Despite the difficulties of installing an extensive and competent homeland security system, India is committed to protecting its citizens, burgeoning economy and national interests with an aggressive and costly effort to secure its territory and coastline.
This spending is necessary because the nature of threats to India’s security has moved beyond the need for better policing and border management to include coastal surveillance, counterinsurgency and counterterrorism capabilities, protection of infrastructure, disaster management and cybersecurity.
With plans to apply offsets to homeland security programs, the market will generate $10 billion of new business opportunities in the next 6-8 years, says Rahul Gangal, director of defense advisory and investments at Aviotech, a military and aerospace parts specialist. “It is anticipated that the homeland security market will expand to $13 billion per year by 2014 and to $16 billion per year by 2018,” he adds. “That represents a significant opportunity for the private sector.”
The volume of business for critical infrastructure and asset protection alone is forecast to account for $10 billion in the next 4-5 years. This segment covers perimeter control, identification, threat detection and mitigation, surveillance and networks, analytics and large event protection.
A look at key areas of homeland security and the amount of money planned to be spent on each underscores the size of the market. According to figures developed by Aviotech, between 2011-16:
•The federal government will spend $7.5 billion and state governments $2 billion on police modernization.
•Airport security spending will rise to $3.2 billion.
•Hotel security investments will be $1 billion per year.
•Petroleum and petrochemical producers and other manufacturing will scale up security spending 125%.
•Banking and financial sectors will spend $800 million.
Given the urgent need for modernization, a debate has emerged over whether India wants to be an integrator of technology or leave that to suppliers. “We’re happy as long as there is a solution,” says an MHA official. “This will provide an opportunity to foreign players and no government level of involvement [on behalf of local industry] is needed. This is unlike in defense, where transfer of technology is required to sustain wartime efforts.”
While the focus of the government is on border protection and coastal surveillance, officials see a need to upgrade the training and equipment of police agencies around the country and increase their manpower, which is reportedly 30% under strength. Much of this is related to indigenous Naxal terrorism. Naxalite violence has been increasing, with the result that police and civilian casualties are rising, primarily as a result of the growing use of improvised explosive devices and landmines. Companies such as Mahindra & Mahindra and BAE Defense Land Systems India, whose products range from armored vehicles to artillery, want to bring their engineering expertise to the market. “A number of state police and other forces will be making an announcement soon on the procurement of MRAPs—mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles,” says Guy Douglas, a BAE Defense representative.
The MHA has been supplementing resources through such measures as the Non-Plan Scheme for Modernization of State Police Forces. This covers mobility (including purchase of bullet-resistant and mine-proof vehicles), heavy vehicles, weapons, communication systems and training. Devices being sourced from international vendors include laser rangefinders, global positioning systems, thermal imagers and 3-D imaging technology.
A major project underway is the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems, which aims to create a national, networked infrastructure of criminal-tracking systems that includes a database of crimes, offenders and their biometric profiles.
The Safe Cities project has been launched with private-sector involvement to upgrade urban security. Major corporations such as Reliance Industries are looking at Safe City projects with an eye toward implementing the high-tech networks, alarms and controllers necessary to secure buildings and access to them.
Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City (DAKC), a 150-acre technology park in Mumbai with 15 buildings owned by Reliance Industries, is working on an integrated security automation project that is one of the largest in the world. DAKC has more than 100,000 cardholders, 222 Cardax FT controllers, 736 doors, 841 access areas and 266 alarm zones where site security is unobtrusive. The key to this is integrated access control, alarms management and digital video recording systems, all managed through one core system, Cardax, from Gallagher Security Management Systems.
“Reliance sees strong synergies in its rolling out 4G broadband wireless services and their use for enabling homeland security, the Safe Cities program and preparedness for disaster management,” says Vivek Lall, president and CEO of the company’s—as yet unnamed—security venture. “We plan to partner with global leaders in this domain to apply the latest technologies and innovation.”
Under the Safe Cities program, police forces will be equipped with helicopters, state-of-the-art communication systems, night-vision devices, GPS and geospatial information systems (GIS), surveillance cameras, portable X-ray machines, vehicle scanners and number plate identification systems, riot gear and bomb-detecting devices. In Mumbai alone, 50,000 cameras costing $100 million will be installed.
Large event protection is on the radar, too. Some $400 million was spent on the Commonwealth Games last year in New Delhi for an integrated security system. Events such as elections create a market every year valued at $250 million for antisabotage equipment, minesweepers, nonlinear junction detectors, communication grids, closed-circuit televisions and traffic management systems, according to an Aviotech survey.
“Increasingly, Indian clients are getting more savvy. They are looking at flexible and situation-specific solutions, most of which are imported. For instance, a temple might want a small tethered aerostat or mobile platform [for surveillance] . . . . Radios, communication networks, surveillance and GIS mapping are going to companies that want customized solutions [to their security needs],” says Gangal.
In networked security, “we have ambitious plans to increase our presence dramatically with an initial focus on the telecom and banking sectors,” says Douglas.
BAE has also expanded its Geospatial Exploitation Products (GXP) business throughout India to support escalating requirements for image analysis, data management and geospatial production tools. These can be tailored for commercial use, for planning authorities and for state governments.
“BAE delivers mapping products that automate many of the processes associated with gathering and analyzing data,” says Rajnish Bhatia, GXP regional manager for BAE Systems India. “As customers become more skilled in geospatial sciences, these tools will make a significant impact on the growth of the geospatial industry in the region.”
Small unmanned aerial systems (SUAS) are increasingly being used by the police, paramilitaries and disaster management authorities to obtain real-time situational awareness of threats. Recently, Defense Minister M.M. Pallam Raju said the government does not propose to manufacture SUAS of less than 200 kg (440 lb.), leaving the market for smaller versions open to the private sector. The SUAS market in India for homeland security will be $500 million in the next 3-5 years, says Avdhesh Khaitan, CEO of Kadet Defense Systems of Kolkata, West Bengal, a manufacturer.
A recent visit by U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emphasized the growing counterterrorism and intelligence-sharing work between India and the U.S. Areas identified for continuing and expanded cooperation include border security; immigration control and identification management; infrastructure protection against chemical, biological and nuclear threats; transport security; passenger screening; biometric equipment; DNA collection; coastal security; armored surveillance vehicles; and unmanned aircraft.