Tue, Jan 02, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Coast guard to set up infrared systems

SENTINEL:The thermal imaging systems can detect objects even at night and can function around the clock, alleviating staff shortages at the coast guard

By Lo Tien-pin and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) is to install infrared thermal imaging systems at 10 locations around Taiwan this year to improve the nation’s defenses, a senior government official said yesterday.

The coast guard has three lines of defense: radar (first line), lookouts (second line) and mobile forces on land (third line), the official said.

The coast guard would have four lines of defense after installing the imaging systems, the official said.

This would achieve the goals of pre-emption, effectively executing tasks and handling situations, the official added.

The new systems would be able to track the status of people, vehicles and boats, even at night or in the rain, the official said.

They would also have intrusion detection systems, warning-sending capabilities, automatic target-tracking and other capabilities, the official added.

The new systems could function around the clock, solving a personnel shortage problem, the official said.

The CGA is reportedly to spend NT$130 million (US$4.36 million) over two years to set up the new systems in a trial run.

The plan was approved by the Executive Yuan last year, the official said.

This year, it will prioritize northern and southern Taiwan, as well as Kinmen County, and set up a system in each location, sources said.

Next year, it would set up seven systems in three locations on Taiwan proper, as well as on Matsu, Dongsha (東沙) and Nansha (南沙) islands, and in Penghu County, the sources said.

If the trial goes well, the agency would install more systems, the sources added.

Before President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration took office, the CGA’s coastal radar system had 204 blind spots, the official said.

After Tsai took office, high-level national security officials instructed CGA Minister Lee Chung-wei (李仲威) to propose improvements, the official added.

After more than a year of adjustments, the number of blind spots has been lowered to 138, the official said.

Chinese and other unidentified boats have been known to take advantage of the blind spots to engage in illegal activities — such as smuggling and illegal immigration — affecting public and national security, the official said.

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