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Qatar - National Security Shield

In 2007, EADS won the National Security Shield contract from Qatar to protect its land and maritime borders and its offshore oil and gas platforms. This integrated nationwide security system, worth a total 240 million euros ($333 million), is intended to provide Qatar with surveillance and command and control of land borders and its coastal region. During the bid process, EADS modeled how the system would work and interact with the Qataris operational procedures. It also identified potential data flow bottlenecks and other areas where improved decision-making was needed. The ability to model that and to show a visual simulation of that during the bid was a key part of bringing alive what we were doing, said Simms. The company participated in live trials in which the Qatari government intentionally tested the system with intruders. Sensors detected them every time.

In June 2009 EADS completed a Critical Design Review of the National Security Shield. The Qatari authorities approved the detailed design, which took two years to develop and drew on extensive computer modeling. The system is mainly destined for the Qatari border guard and coast guard, and is intended to allow monitoring of the territory, secure communications and speedy decision making to counter potential intruders.

The National Security Shield Project officials organized a field trip for local media representatives to the site of the Model Coastal Station of the project located at Al Ghariya Centre under the Coasts and Borders Security Department on Monday, 08 June 2009 morning. The trip was organized to acquaint the reporters the phases of the works completed until now on the occasion of completing the designing stage of the National Security Shield Project. The media representatives toured at operations room and the sites of cameras, radars and surveillance devices. Later, they attended a press conference hosted by Brig. Staff Pilot. Muhammad Abdul Latif Al Manai, Director of National Security Shield and Staff Navy Brig. Ali Ahmed Al Manai, Director of Coasts and Borders Security Department. John Mark Nasr, Deputy Managing Director of the project implementing company also attended the press conference.

Inaugurating the press conference, Brig. Muhammed Al Manai stated "The provision of security, stability and protection for the members of the society and its establishments comes in the frontline of the priority given by the officials in the country". He also added that the implementation of the latest innovations and spending efforts to possess the best technological medias for the attainment of these goals represent the penetrating vision and deep view of our leaders. For this reason, the State of Qatar possesses the National Security Shield, a developed security system.

"The aims of the project are survieling, securing and protecting the territorial and economical waters and strategic areas and terrestrial borders of Qatar from any illegal security violations and penetrations, through building a command, control, communications, Computer, intelligence, surveillance and automatic electronic investigation system" Explaining about the shield, Brig. Al Mani stated.

The first phase of the project, which was preparation of the project study, was carried out by a highly experienced Norwegian consultant company and the company conducted the study of coastal, marine and terrestrial sites and economical establishments that will be covered by the project. When the project study completed within one and half year, the project could to define the requirements for executing the national shield and the tender for the project was announced in the world market. More than 18 companies around the world presented their tenders and a famous European company was selected for implementing the project when the contract was signed in the end of 2007 and the project period is four and half years in which one and half year was specified for completing the project study. The project implementing company will hand over the project within the specified period as mentioned in the contract and after completing one and half year from the beginning of the real operational phase, the Qatari cadre will take the responsibility of the functioning the project, National Security Shield Director stated.

Brig. Al Mani also mentioned that, the field survey was conducted more than a time for the sites and places where the project will be implemented according to the scientific study and the experience of the project implementing company. After carrying out more than a study, the site was selected and he stressed that the Qatari National Shield Project will be the best one in the region when we look to the variety of kinds of the devices and equipments used and the participating bodies and the mission entrusted.

The Ministry of Interior and Armed Forces are the entrusted bodies for operating the project and they maintain constant coordination with Qatar petrol considering the nature of its work, General Authority for Customs and Sea Ports and Meteorological Authority and etc. and each National Security Shield station is equipped with a small meteorological station.

After implementing a model pilot project, a group of tests in one of the coastal sites under the Coasts and Borders Security Department (CBSD) of Interior Ministry were held with the aim of experimenting the marine coastal surveillance station in cooperation and active and direct participation of the CBSD and some other bodies. The tests were held with the aim of operating the first marine coastal station of the National Security Shield Project for assessing the real capacities of the devices and marine equipments fixed for a long working time with out stopping and also in the changing weather and hot and cold season.

The works at Al Ghariya station comprise of installing devices and equipments for marine coastal surveillance in addition to preparation of coast guards operations center and planning, command and control software. The station has also completed training course for the staff for introducing them the devices, equipments and software used in the project.

Explaining about the terrestrial surveillance station, the project director said "In the framework of the final experiments and approving the final stage of the design of the system, The office of the National Security Shield has been conducting tests for terrestrial system for surveiling and securing the terrestrial borders of the country in cooperation with Qatari Emiri Borders Forces.

On the other side, Staff Navy Brig. Ali Ahmed Al Badeed Al Manai, Director of Coasts and Borders Security Department emphasized that the National Security Shield project will contribute to an high extent in developing the performance of the Coasts and Borders Security Department, especially in the field of surveillance and monitoring operations and patrolling duties. "The company has enough experience in the security field and it had and has been implementing similar projects in some other countries," John Mark Nasr, Deputy General Manger of the project implementing company said.

During the field trip, Staff Brig. Tariq Al Obaidali, Head of Marine and Terrestrial Systems Section in the National Security Shield gave a brief explanation about the working methods of the radar and surveillance systems and its technical capacity for monitoring the marine objectives. He also explained about the command of the Al Ghariya centre and operations room in the centre and the adequacy of the used devices and command and control program and training program prepared for staff working with the project.

The project covers a total area of 900 kilometres, fully equipped to protect both onshore and offshore areas within this distance. Protecting oil and gas fields, water resources, marine and coastal areas, as well as checking illegal maritime traffic, were major challenges. Qatar was capable of monitoring the threats to maritime and coastal security and tackle them efficiently.



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