Studies are being carried out to upgrade the radar system around the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) to improve security capabilities in the area, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
The existing radar system is quite outdated, he told reporters at the ministry yesterday after meeting with relevant parties on executing sea basing – a naval capability to conduct selected functions and tasks at sea without reliance on infrastructure ashore.
Hishammuddin said sea basing is another option, using abandoned Petronas oil rigs located around Esszone as forward operation bases (FOB).
He added that two Petronas platforms have been identified and should be operational by year end while negotiations are being held with another company on using two of their platforms.
“The rigs are there but what is important is to figure out where to place those rigs and what to place on them. We are also deploying more patrol ships in the area to further tighten the security in the area,” he said.
Hishammuddin said there will be a revaluation of the software (policies), hardware (assets), humanware (training) and intelligence concerning the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom).
“This will be discussed at the next National Security Council meeting with the idea to provide better security to shipping lanes and islands in the zone,” he said.
Hishammuddin said there are also discussions with Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei to maintain stability in the region. (The Star)