PM Minnis: State-of-the-art coastal radar to strengthen country’s borders

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MATTHEW TOWN, Inagua – The handover of the country’s first state-of-the-art coastal radar system marks an essential step in the Government’s strategy to strengthen the borders of The Bahamas, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis said on Wednesday.

The Kelvin Hughes Long-Range Coastal Radar, valued at over $2 million, will enhance the monitoring and provide better protection against illegal migration, illicit drugs, gun trafficking, poaching, human trafficking and other threats to national security, said the Prime Minister.

Great Inagua is the first island in The Bahamas to receive this state-of-the-art radar system. A second radar will be installed on New Providence. And there are plans for two more radar systems.

Additionally, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) continues to decentralize its operations, which is a core element of the Government’s national defence strategy.

“The RBDF base here in Inagua will be expanded. And a new base will be constructed at Ragged Island,” said the Prime Minister. “Both bases will be equipped with various detection and tracking technologies.”

Last week, Cabinet approved a proposal to implement a Bahamas Unmanned Aerial System that will be managed by the RBDF.

This drone program includes immediate surveillance capabilities, as well as training in drones, the purchasing of drones and the development of a drone academy and workshop.

“This new capability will enhance national security and may be utilized by all of the uniformed branches to combat crime, illegal migration and other national security threats.

The Kelvin Hughes Long-Range Coastal Radar was made available to The Bahamas by the Government of the United States of America through the US Embassy in The Bahamas.

The Prime Minister thanked the US Embassy, for helping The Bahamas to secure this vital technology, and the US Department of Defense Officials for their assistance in this critical project. 

“It is a tremendous challenge to monitor the approximately 100,000 square miles of our extensive maritime domain,” noted Prime Minister Minnis. 

The installation of technically-advanced long-range coastal radars is an essential component in enhancing the monitoring and better protection of the borders of the country’s far-flung island-chain, he said.

“Combatting crime and the protection of our border from multiple threats are two of the most important functions of a government,” said the Prime Minister.

“We are making progress on both fronts, but we still have much work to do to better secure the Bahamian people and our borders.” 

Government agencies must use every instrument at its means to make the Bahamian people feel safer and more secure, which includes innovative and advanced technology, Prime Minister Minnis added.

Prime Minister Minnis expressed the enormous gratitude of the Government, and his personal gratitude, to the leaders and officers of all of the uniformed branches for their dedication to serving and protecting the citizens, residents and visitors to The Bahamas.

“By making our borders more secure, especially from gun trafficking and illicit drugs, we will make our streets, homes and businesses safer and more secure,” said the Prime Minister.