Port Blair: India announced plans on Saturday to establish an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) base in the Andaman archipelago and also to station more aerial reconnaissance aircraft at the air force base here. The plans come amidst rising concerns about terrorists infiltrating into the country through the sea route.
The archipelago consists of 572 islands and straddles the vital Malacca straits, the gateway to 60 per cent of the world's energy and commercial trade.
"We have initiated moves to locate most modern surveillance equipment on these islands to counter rising threats of terrorism, sea piracy and weapons and drug trafficking," defence minister AK Antony told newsmen.
Defence secretary, Shekhar Dutt, along with the chief of the integrated defence staff, Lt Gen Hardev Lidder, accompanied the minister.
Antony said these steps were being taken in view of projections by intelligence and other security agencies that terrorists could strike or infiltrate through the sea routes. According to the minister, security agencies felt that terrorists may adopt the sea route to infiltrate the country, as infiltration through land borders was now proving difficult, thanks to the hi-tech surveillance system now put into place.