India has decided to acquire Foliage-Penetrating Radars (FPR) from Israel to strengthen security along its border with Pakistan in Kashmir.

The Jerusalem Post recently reported that India’s Border Security Force (BSF) would send a delegation to the West Asian country soon for finalising the deal. The BSF, too, confirmed the report, saying that Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval approved the deal to purchase the Israeli radar system a couple of days ago. According to sources close to the BSF, India opts for the Israeli radar system, as the manufacturer of the ‘Elbit FPR-10’ claims that the Wide-Area-Persistent Surveillance (WAPS) system can perform optimally even in mountainous region, like Kashmir, where temperatures may reach lows of -20 degrees in the winter.

Defence experts believe that it is an interesting acquisition, as the advanced Israeli radars can easily detect human and vehicular activities in dense forests. They opine that the Israeli radars will help the Indian defence personnel prevent Pakistani infiltration into the Indian territory through the Line of Control (the de facto boundary in the disputed territory of Kashmir).

A senior BSF official has revealed that members of the Indian delegation would receive training on the Israeli system’s operation during their visit to the country. The official, who wished to remain anonymous, also said that FPRs would be equipped with high-sensitivity sensors that could track human and vehicular movements. He told the press that the Narendra Modi government would also set up a 24×7 control room for monitoring the signals (received from the Israeli radars to be installed throughout Kashmir and also along the LoC).

Although India has built a barbed-wire fence along its de facto border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir that is popularly known as Asia’s Berlin Wall, the installation of Israeli radars will certainly improve intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance of the difficult terrain. The length of massive India-Pakistan border is 3,640km and it consists of demarked International boundary of 2,900km and 740km of LOC in Kashmir. Nearly 85% of the international border is fenced, while the remaining 15% remains unfenced. Interestingly, the fence is four layered in some sensitive places. India has also fixed 150,000 floodlights along the fence, making it visible from space.

The two South Asian nations have been embroiled in a territorial dispute over Kashmir since the partition of India in 1947. Islamist insurgents have carried out attacks in the region in an attempt to claim the contested land for Pakistan.

Koushik Das, based in the Indian capital of New Delhi, is a senior news editor with more than 15 years of experience. He also runs a blog – Boundless Ocean of Politics. E-Mail: [email protected]