In Croatia the navy is just one of the players responsible and accountable for maritime-security issues. So, in performing regular defense tasks at sea, it must cooperate and sometimes compete with the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, and with local government agencies and institutions in the maritime-security domain. Although it sometimes seems that it is easier to cooperate with international institutions rather than within our national boundaries, increased multiyear efforts have produced visible improvements and tangible results in strengthening national synergy at sea.
Faced with reduced resources, the navy has had to streamline the network of naval bases and installations. But, given the numerous tasks of maritime security and our relatively long coastline, there is still the need for periodic but frequent forward-basing at sea. Thus we are exploring the options of leasing some installations to private enterprises—with a guarantee of assured access and basic logistical services.
Further, with a relatively modest investment in the modernization of the existing surveillance radar systems (with a primary goal of their automation and networking), we plan to reduce significantly the number of personnel needed to operate the systems. In addition, a future comprehensive network of radars and other sensors at sea will be built in cooperation with other agencies, which will include shared responsibility at sea (and shared costs).
One particular strand of work in that regard is our SEVID project, a Web-based information system that allows the creation of a near-real-time radar modernization that will include monitoring of ships, their identification, and data distribution. The key objective is to improve maritime domain awareness, with information being integrated and processed in a central Web server. Developed by the navy, it currently is in the testing phase.