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Antony evaluates state of defence preparedness

December 18, 2008 18:06 IST

In order to review the security situation and the state of preparedness of the armed forces, Defence Minister A K Antony on Thursday held a meeting with the three service chiefs and senior defence ministry officials.

"The minister held a meeting with the chiefs of the three services and the defence secretary to review the overall security situation and to take stock of the state of preparedness of the armed forces," a defence ministry official said.

To provide the required equipment and systems to the security forces, the defence minister discussed acquisition of the ongoing and future critical equipment for them in the wake of the terror attacks in Mumbai.

"The position with regard to certain critical equipment and the status of ongoing acquisition was reviewed in detail," the official said.

Sources said the acquisition of defence equipment is now expected to be hastened keeping in mind the urgent needs of the security forces.

Security of coastal and offshore assets and with land and maritime borders was reviewed in the light of threats emanating from there.

"Security of vital coastal and offshore assets was discussed with a view to ensure that these remained fully secure," a source said.

Antony will hold another meeting on Saturday to review coastal security in detail.

During the meeting, intelligence sharing among the security agencies came up for discussion and the defence minister stressed on the importance of coordinated intelligence among various forces.

"Intelligence sharing was one area, which was found wanting during the Mumbai terror attacks [Images], was discussed and the Minister called for a coordinated and better sharing of intelligence between the security forces," the official said.

The defence minister asked the three chiefs to put a suitable mechanism in place to ensure proper analysis and follow-up of all relevant inputs relating to the security of the country, they said.

The Navy and the Coast Guard had come under attack for not acting on the inputs provided by intelligence agencies about the ship used by the terrorists to enter Indian waters and attack designated targets in the financial capital of the country.

After the attacks last month, the defence minister has held a series of meetings with the three services chiefs and senior officials to discuss the security scenario in the country.

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