In July 2013, the Republic of Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union and is, therefore, obliged to guard the EU‘s external borders. The course of the border between Croatia and Bosnia/Herzegovina, however, is almost bizarre at one place. There is the so-called Neum corridor belonging to Bosnia/Herzegovina and cutting into the Croatian coastline. It divides the Croatian territory and provides Bosnia with a narrow access to the Adriatic Sea at Neum, a possible loophole for smugglers and people trafficking, especially since the coastal area is hard to oversee due to its rugged shore line and many small islands.
A regional surveillance system at Neum bay and Mali Stone bay has been installed now to support the local border authorities in their fight against illegal cross border activities that will help in the future to detect and identify potential smugglers in time via radar and infrared technology.
in-innovative navigation GmbH was awarded by the joint venture THALES/PCE (Pomorski Centar Elektroniku) to deliver and install all technology for radar surveillance (sensors, signal transmission) and sensor signal processing (radar signal acquisition, tracking), as well as installation of the state-of-the-art traffic display module inDTS at the control center, all of which has been developed by in-innovative navigation GmbH.
Radar scanners and infrared cameras were set up at a total of three locations that can overview the whole critical bay area. Data are integrated at the control center in Ploce. In case of a suspicious incident, operators in Ploce can control the cameras directly for further identification of an unknown object on the water. At the same time all information can be transmitted immediately to the local forces in charge.
Marco Zaja (PCE) was very satisfied with the efficient handling of the project: „The cooperation of THALES/PCE with in-innovative navigation GmbH proceeded very constructively and successfully. The surveillance system at Neum could go into operation without any problems in the shortest time possible. We are very looking forward to deepen our cooperation in further border protection projects.“
The high performance of the new border control system was proven already during the phase of implementation and approval: A smuggler camouflaged as fisherman was detected by the system and could be arrested with the police boats on-call. Therefore, the Croatian authorities intend to integrate data coming from this local control system into the coastal surveillance system existing as soon as possible.