Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Coastal surveillance system to thwart maritime security threats

Adib Noor

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the National Coastal Surveillance System (NCSS) project at Kampong Kuala Tutong yesterday.

NCSS is a net-centric surveillance system which is the first of its kind in the Sultanate, which will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

To aid in the maintenance and protection of the country’s maritime domain, which is seven times larger than the country’s land area, the NCSS system will enable agencies to give their best and timely response to security threats in Brunei waters by providing maritime domain awareness.

The establishment of the NCSS is the government’s aspiration to create a conducive maritime domain in support of the nation’s sovereignty, stability and economic interests.

The NCSS system functions by combining different sources of information from RADAR, EO/IR and communication systems located throughout the country’s coastal areas, including the site at Kuala Tutong which will be equipped with a 100-metre surveillance tower.

The system’s operations centre will be under the command of the National Maritime Coordination Centre (NMCC) at the PMO, located at the Multi National Coordination Centre in Muara to enable coordination among security and enforcement agencies through a whole-of-nation approach. The project also inculcates awareness on maritime security on a national scale.

Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof officiates the groundbreaking ceremony. PHOTO: PMO
National Maritime Coordination Centre Director Commander Rasman bin Puteh speaks at the event. PHOTO: ADIB NOOR

Meanwhile, the NMCC will serve as the lead agency for security and enforcement initiatives in the Sultanate’s maritime domain, as part of the structure of the National Security Committee.

NMCC Director Commander Rasman bin Puteh said the NCSS system will utilise maritime information from both local and international strategic partners, big data and opportunities to make use of artificial intelligence augmentation to support efforts in maintaining and protecting the nation’s maritime domain.

The project, implemented by General Dynamics Mission Systems (GDMS) Italy and Canada, has shown significant progress to date and is expected to operate in April 2023.

Meanwhile, Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, as Chairman of the National Security Committee, officiated the groundbreaking ceremony.

Also present at the event were Permanent Secretary (Security, Enforcement and Law) at the PMO Dato Paduka Haji Sufian bin Haji Sabtu, who is also Chairman of the Project Steering Committee; High Commissioner of Canada to Brunei Darussalam Jeanette Stovel; Commander of the Royal Brunei Navy First Admiral Dato Seri Pahlawan Spry bin Haji Serudi@Haji Seruji, as the representative of the Chairman of the Martime Security Working Committee; and GDMS Canada Vice President Martin Zablocki.