The Uri attack on September 18 was shocking in its deadly intent as it was in its obduracy.
The Uri attack on September 18 was shocking in its deadly intent as it was in its obduracy. After all, how could four armed-to-teeth terrorists cut and cross the double fence on the LoC, penetrate six km into Indian territory, breach several security layers and let loose mayhem inside an army base leaving 18 dead
Obviously there were several lapses. Last week defence minister Manohar Parrikar admitted as much: “Obviously something must have been wrong We will definitely find out what went wrong and also take steps to ensure it does not go wrong again”.
Perhaps the minister might have been hinting at the critical requirement of an advanced communications interception system could have helped prevent the attack. On Wednesday, the after-effects of Uri continued to resonate in the Defence Acquisition Council meeting. Among a slew of proposals worth Rs 1,910 crore that was cleared during the meeting chaired by the defence minister was a Rs 330 crore Electronic Warfare System (EWS) for low intensity conflict operations in the beleaguered Jammu and Kashmir.
“With terror elements in Kashmir and across the border taking recourse to advanced communication systems, this move, in essence, will imply a thrust to acquire the best communications infrastructure as a robust counter terror measure,” a defence ministry official told this newspaper.
The main elements of EWS involve surveillance of the enemy’s radio and data transmissions, eavesdropping, gathering intelligence across the electromagnetic spectrum and deploying counter tactics by sophisticated jamming and other such methods including setting up of a reliable and secure radio network.
Other proposals cleared included approval for the purchase of anti-tank guided munitions for training purposes worth Rs 405 crore, setting up of a Rs 450 crore weapon repair facility in Port Blair, and a Rs 725 crore plan to set up a repair facility at Mumbai’s Naval dockyard specifically for the Scorpene submarines the first of which INS Kalvari is expected to join the Indian Navy soon.
The DAC is the apex procurement body of the defence ministry. After its approval, the proposals will go to the Union Cabinet for the final clearance.