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Atlas Elektronik completed the delivery of the coastal surveillance sys-tem, which has been ordered by the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance regarding the completion of the Bulgarian obligations towards the Schengen agreement of the European Union. The Sys-tem, operated by the Border Police (Ministry of Interior), covers the entire Bulgarian coastline
The contract was awarded to a consortium, consisting of ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, Tcherno More and Optix (ATO) in January, 2010 in Sofia and has been completed and accepted by the customer on 8 December 2010 after only eleven months in Sofia. The contract was executed by the 100% subsidiary ATLAS Maritime Security, which has merged with Sofrelog beginning of 2011. Later this year the legal entities ATLAS Maritime Security and Sofrelog will be re-named into SIGNALIS.
Designed and built to ensure the integrity of the Bulgarian “blue border” and territorial waters the system automatically detects and identifies targets in the authority of the Bulgarian Border Police. The system is based on 12 remote sites, equipped with radar, AIS transponders, day-light and IR-Cameras and weather stations; 2 mobile ground units and 12 Border Police Boats, including surveillance and communication components. The operational responsibility is located in 2 Local Operative Centres in Galata (Varna) and Sozopol, where the information of the remote sites are being gathered, displayed and processed. Each Local Operative Centre is con-nected with a number of remotes radar sites. The traffic image and the situation picture of the according sectors is transmitted to the National Maritime Border Coordination and Information Centre in Burgas, where the traffic images are integrated into one tactical operational traffic picture of the entire Bulgarian coastline. The overall tactical coastal picture is being forwarded and displayed into the Operative Duty Centre, which is located in Sofia.
“The main goal of the Republic of Bulgaria, in the process of accessing the Schengen area, is to ensure the technical provision of the security of the outer borders of the country in the aspi-ration for creation a stable and reliable system for safe guard of the outer borders of the European Union. Through the new equipment obtained through the European Union pro-grammes, such as PHARE and the instrument of Schengen, the security of the outer borders of the European Union is completely technical assured. The system has been already delivered and is efficiently used to monitor and surveillance the European Union borders – and to guarantee security”, says Kircho Kirov, Deputy Director of the Chief Directorate of Border Po-lice, Ministry of Interior.
One of the basic characteristics of the system is to track and control vessel traffic and naviga-tion within the coastal area of the Bulgarian Black sea border, in order to avoid collisions or groundings of ships. Additionally, it is a means of detection and interception of illegal traffic of drugs, weapons and immigrants as well as asymmetric threats as per the regulations under the Schengen facility ratified by EU. The system represents an integrated “blue” border coastal surveillance solution designed for homeland security and Vessel Traffic Services & Control. It is of strategic importance to the European Union, since the main objectives are protecting Europe’s outer border and improving, at the same time, maritime safety and environmental protection.