New coastal radar system for Inagua
The government yesterday commissioned a new $2 million long-range coastal radar system in Matthew Town, Inagua, that will aid in better protecting the country’s borders.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis led a delegation to the island for the unveiling and commissioning of the device.
“Today’s handover commissioning ceremony is another important step in the government’s strategy to strengthen the borders of The Bahamas to better address illegal migration, illicit drugs, gun trafficking, poaching, human trafficking and other threats to national security,” Minnis said.
“This state-of-the-art Kelvin Hughes Long-Range Coastal Radar, valued at over $2 million, was made available to The Bahamas by the government of the United States of America through the U.S. Embassy in The Bahamas.”
Minnis thanked the U.S. Embassy, in particular U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Stephanie Bowers and the U.S Department of Defense officials for assisting in securing the technology.
“It is a tremendous challenge to monitor the approximately 100,000 square miles of our extensive maritime domain,” he continued.
“The installation of technically-advanced long-range coastal radars are an essential component in enhancing the monitoring and better protection of the borders of our far-flung island-chain.
“Great Inagua is the first island in our archipelago to receive this state-of-the art coastal radar system.
“A second radar will be erected on New Providence.
“And there are plans for two more of these radar systems.
“Additionally, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force continues to decentralize its operations, which is a core element of our national defense strategy.”
The prime minister announced that the RBDF based in Inagua will be expanded and a new base will be constructed on Ragged Island.
Both bases will be equipped with various detection and tracking technologies, he said.
Minnis noted that Cabinet has approved a proposal to implement an unmanned aerial system under the leadership of the RBDF.
The drone program would include immediate surveillance capabilities, as well as training in drones, the purchasing of drones and the development of a drone academy and workshop.
“This new capability will enhance national security and may be utilized by all of the uniformed branches to combat crime, illegal migration and other national security threats,” he added.
The drone program is expected to be operational on New Providence this year.
The prime minister said that while his administration is making progress in combatting crime and protecting the country’s borders, there is still much work to do.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications