The Jamaican Government has ordered new maritime surveillance technology from French firm Thales to strengthen its coastal surveillance capabilities.
Under the contract, Thales will provide a turnkey system built around several Coast Watcher 100 long-range coastal surveillance radars, electro-optical sensors, and global maritime distress and safety system radios.
The system will also comprise a National Control Center that will merge data from all sensors to provide a full operational capacity to the Jamaica Defense Force.
Thales’ Coast Watcher 100, which is manufactured in Rouen, is a long-range coastal surveillance radar built for round the clock unmanned operation.
The radar will ensure optimal detection, identification and tracking of small, highly manoeuvrable and fast targets, as well as low-altitude airborne threats to deliver advanced maritime surveillance.
The maritime surveillance technology can be deployed to detect targets even in challenging environments.
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The air and surface targets that can be detected by Coast Watcher 100 include inflatable dinghies or jet-skis, warships, as well as low-level aeroplanes and helicopters.
The contract was awarded as part of the Jamaican Government’s Maritime Domain Awareness Capability Initiative, a comprehensive programme designed to mitigate criminal maritime activities around the Jamaican coast.
According to Thales, the system architecture enables the radar to counter the threat of piracy and smuggling operations.
Thales Latin America vice-president Ruben Lazo said: “Thales’s high technologies help our customers make the best decision in real time. Coast Watcher 100 maritime surveillance radars will allow the Jamaica Defense Force to benefit from the state of the art solution in detection, surveillance and control.”
The latest order builds on the existing relationship between Thales and the Jamaican government.
The country already uses Thales air traffic control centres and radars to secure its airspace.
Jamaica Defense Force placed an order in 2013 with the company for the supply of 12 Bushmaster armoured vehicles.
Last month, the company received a contract from the French Defence Procurement Agency to supply Coast Watcher 100 radars to enhance maritime threat detection.