A detailed Rs 1,000-crore plan to set up perimeter defence systems and intrusion alert devices at forward locations and Army garrisons in J&K is pending for government clearance. The plan to strengthen defences at armed forces installations in the sensitive state was drawn up after an attack at Pathankot airbase in January in which militants managed to breach a military airfield that housed combat aircraft.
Sources have told ET that the plan, which details the high-tech equipment that is required on an urgent basis to secure the installations, involves an initial outlay of `400 crore and is stretched over a three-year period.
A clear pattern has emerged over the past few months — starting with Pathankot and leading to an attack at an Army base in Uri that left 19 soldiers dead — in which militants have managed to repeatedly breach existing perimeter defence systems in a fire assault.
In repeated attacks, groups of 3-4 militants have managed to enter military camps and take up hidden defensive positions, only to fire at quick reaction teams of the Army and inflict heavy casualties. In the Nagrota attack, four of the seven soldiers who died were lost in the initial breach and contact itself.
With the present systems unable to indicate the exact location of a breach, the proposal is to create smart fencing systems with underground sensors, motion triggers and a centralised command and control room that can direct reaction teams to the right place.
In the aftermath of the Pathankot attack, the defence ministry had tasked former Vice-Chief of the Army, Lt Gen Philip Campose (retd), for a security audit and to make suggestions to bolster defences. The retired officer submitted his report to the ministry over six months ago. In a separate move, the Air Force has managed to move ahead with its plan to increase security at bases, having initiated a procurement process for a pilot project on a smart fencing system