PPA wants former Narva tank site for new drone surveillance system

To increase border security, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) plans to establish 15 additional radar positions in Ida-Viru County. The PPA also aims to set up a modern drone surveillance system in Narva at the location where, until August, the controversial T-34 tank monument was located.

At present, around 70 percent of the Narva River border is covered by surveillance equipment. However, the PPA considers this insufficient as it does not provide border guards with a full overview of the area. "One of the elements of the whole project to extend the eastern border has been to also ensure full surveillance capabilities in the direction of Narva direction," said  PPA eastern prefecture chief Tarvo Kruup.

To this end, the PPA is planning to build 15 new radar stations in the border area of Ida-Viru County over the coming years. The installation of separate drone detection and counter-drone systems is also planned, consisting of radar and other combined systems, as well as accompanying border surveillance, Kruup explained.

The Ministry of the Interior is now aiming to purchase suitable land from the local authorities in Ida-Viru County in order to set up the required radar positions.

Among the sites earmarked for the installation of the new drone surveillance systems, is the spot between Narva and Narva-Jõesuu, which, until August this year, was occupied by the now infamous T-34 tank monument.

Veiko Kommusaar, the Interior Ministry's current undersecretary for internal security, said that, said that the drone detection and control system will help to raise border security in the region to a new level.

"For this purpose, we need an additional surveillance position along the Narva River," Kommusaar said." The best location for this in the area between the city of Narva and Narva-Jõesuu is the land under the so-called tank, which the Ministry of the Interior proposed be transferred from the city of Narva to the state," Kommusaar explained.

Kruup added, that this land is very suitable for such a demanding system for several reasons. Not only is it located in a border area, with good visibility and access, but it is also large enough in size and would enable long distance monitoring not only of the land border, but also of parts of the Narva Bay and the sea.

The Ministry of the Interior is also negotiating with the municipalities of Narva and Narva-Jõesuu regarding the purchase of other properties, where additional radar sites could be built.

While the number of illegal border crossings has remained steady over the years, in 2022, drone-related border offences have increased significantly. In the first ten months of this year alone, Estonian border guards detected 106 uncoordinated drone flights in the border area of Ida-Viru County. While some of these violations were committed unknowingly, there were also plenty of attempts to commit cross-border crime.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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