The United States-based Sandia National Laboratories will set up a pilot project using its hi-tech sensors along a selected portion of the Indian border, probably a section of the Line of Control, to monitor infiltration from Pakistan.
A team of technical experts from Indian agencies, mostly the army, will visit Sandia's facilities "in the next couple of months" to select sensors and other technologies for the pilot project, according to a defence ministry official. The date for the team's visit will be decided during the fifth meeting of the Indo-US joint working group on terrorism in Washington on July 11 and 12.
The army says the US sensors that it has deployed in certain parts of Jammu and Kargil sectors have helped improve detection of infiltration by more than 20 per cent.
A senior defence ministry official told rediff.com that the team visiting Sandia will identify "types of technologies" that could be adopted for the pilot project. Those technologies "may not be the [same] ones deployed in India right now", a senior army officer added.
If the Sandia project is successful, the government will be "interested in deploying [the sensors] extensively along borders not only in Jammu & Kashmir but also in the Northeast and on the western frontier", the senior defence ministry official said.
At the JWG meeting, to be co-chaired by Francis Taylor, co-ordinator for counter-terrorism in the US state department, and joint secretary (US and Canada) Jayant Prasad, the two sides will also discuss "roadmaps for future co-operation" in other areas relating to counter-terrorism, sources said.
The Indian delegation will comprise senior officials from the home and defence ministries, army, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, National Security Council secretariat and intelligence agencies.
The BCAS official and his US counterparts will "exchange notes" on how to secure the skies and safeguard aircraft against hijacks. The BCAS was brought into the JWG during its fourth meeting in New Delhi in January.
The Washington meeting will also discuss military-to-military counter-terror co-operation. A major general and a joint secretary from the defence ministry are part of the delegation.
The two sides will also decide dates for a high-level Indian Army team to visit the US for a workshop on weapons of mass destruction. This is a new initiative between India and the US as the Indian Army begins to prepare for a nuclear-biological-chemical warfare scenario in a future war.
The American side is expected to brief the Indian delegation about Operation Enduring Freedom against Al Qaeda. Indian officials also expect to be updated on the progress the Americans have made in adopting the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Treaty, which is awaiting the Senate's ratification. India has already adopted the treaty.
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