For discussion FCR(97-98)50
on 7 November 1997


Hong Kong Police Force
New Subhead "New Radio System for Marine Region"

Members are invited to approve a commitment of $84,389,000 for the acquisition of a new radio system for the Marine Region of the Hong Kong Police Force.


The existing radio system of the Marine Region of the Hong Kong Police Force has become obsolete and requires replacement and enhancement to maintain and improve the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the Marine Police.


2. The Commissioner of Police (CP), with the support of the Secretary for Security, proposes to replace the existing Marine Region radio system with a new radio system with enhanced functions at a non-recurrent cost of $84,389,000.


3. The Joint Maritime Communication System (JMCS) is currently the only radio network used by the Marine Police. It has been in service for about 14 years. As a result of the aging of the system, there is increasing break-down due to equipment failure. Also, the Police have encountered increasing difficulty in obtaining spare parts due to obsolescence of the system. This is affecting the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the Marine Police.

4. Moreover, the system is subject to increasing radio frequency interference which impairs the reliability and operability of the system. The Police reported 44 and 53 cases of interference to the Office of the Telecommunications Authority for investigation in 1995 and 1996 respectively.

5. Furthermore, the existing system only supports one-way data transmission from the Marine Regional Command and Control Centre (RCCC) to police launches but not vice versa, nor between land bases and launches. This has restricted the ability of Marine RCCC and the land bases to command and control police launches in operations.

A new radio system

6. To rectify the problems outlined in the foregoing paragraphs, the Marine Police need to replace the obsolete system by a modern radio system which can minimise interference and facilitate data transmission among police launches, the Marine RCCC and Marine land bases. The proposed system will comprise three integral parts, as follows -

  1. replacement radio network for voice communication among police launches, land bases and Marine RCCC;
  2. data network for two-way data communication among police launches, land bases and Marine RCCC; and
  3. air-to-launch network for voice communication between launches and helicopters.

7. With these features, Police officers on board the launches will know the changes of operational environment far more quickly and this will enable them to make speedy response in policing operations. Specifically, the Police envisage that the proposed system will have the following benefits -

  1. the replacement voice communication network is capable of minimising interference and reducing communication blackspots, resulting in enhanced territory-wide coverage. It will be able to support an effective and secure command of inter-police division and even regional level operations;
  2. the data communication network will -

    1. provide territory-wide data channel for dual-way transfer of data between police launches, Marine RCCC and land bases. This will greatly reduce the amount of air-time required and facilitate more efficient transfer of information leading to enhanced command of operations; and
    2. enable the Marine RCCC to access information about the position and status of police launches. This information is important for the Police Force command to make the most suitable deployment at sea; and

  3. the air-to-launch network will facilitate effective deployment and co operation between police launches and Government Flying Service helicopters in air-cum-sea operations, such as in complex and dangerous search and rescue missions.


Non-recurrent cost

8. CP estimates that the non-recurrent cost of acquiring the new radio system will be $84,389,000, broken down as follows -

Network - based equipment
(a) Mobile and portable radios23,7005,3003,37032,370
(b) Control equipment4,7008,2001,80014,700
(c) Hill top site equipment10,5005,20033016,030
(d) Computer equipment-6,000-6,000
Common supporting services
(e) Interface with Police Enhanced Computer Assisted Command and Control System (ECACCS)5,000
(f) Engineering design, factory acceptance, training and documentation4,600
(g) Hill top site development4,000
(h) Control centre fitting out and transition1,000
(i) Fall back facility at Hong Kong Island Control Centre400
(j) First year radio license fee289

9. The estimated cashflow will be as follows -


10. As regards paragraph 8(a), the estimate of $32.37 million is for provision of 65 sets of Global Position System receivers, 316 sets of mobile radios and 310 sets of portable radios.

11. As regards paragraph 8(b), the estimate of $14.7 million is for control equipment including control electronics, multi-track recorder, position display system, etc., to be installed at the 11 consoles of the new radio system.

12. As regards paragraph 8(c), the estimate of $16.03 million is for hill top site equipment including trunked radio repeaters, antenna system, radio based station for data communication and leased data line.

13. As regards paragraph 8(d), the estimate of $6 million is for computer hardware and software for data communication.

14. As regards paragraphs 8(e) to (j), the estimate of $15,289,000 is for common services to support the three networks of the new radio system.

Recurrent cost

15. The estimated additional annually recurrent expenditure arising from the proposed system will be $1,231,000, broken down as follows -

(a) Maintenance staff470
(b) Maintenance material and spare parts2,917
(c) Maintenance cost for ECACCS radio-computer interface750
(d) Radio license fee289
(e) Saving on maintenance cost of existing network(3,000)
(f) Saving on radio license for existing radio equipment(195)

16. As regards paragraph 15(a), we require two additional posts (one Assistant Police Telecommunication Inspector and one Senior Radio Mechanic) to carry out routine inspections and regular maintenance of the new radio system which is wider in scope and more sophisticated than the existing network. We will not need maintenance from outside service.

17. As regards paragraphs 15(b) to (d), the estimated expenses are for on-going maintenance and administrative costs of the network.

18. As regards paragraphs 15(e) and (f), they are savings from the existing network which will be used to offset part of the additional recurrent costs.

Implementation Plan

19. CP plans to implement the proposed radio system according to the following schedule -

network and air-to-
launch network
Data network
(a) Design, specification and tendering November 1997 to
September 1998
November 1997 to
December 1998
(b) Award of contract October 1998 January 1999
(c) Delivery of equipment, installation, acceptance tests and system implementation March 1999 to
March 2000
June 1999 to
June 2000


20. The Marine Police radio system used to consist of two networks, the JMCS and the Marine Regional Communications Network (A Net). Both networks supported dual-way voice communication among the Marine RCCC, land bases, launches and helicopters (in air-cum-sea operations), which would facilitate the deployment and command of police launches in carrying out policing operations at sea, such as anti-smuggling and anti-illegal immigration operations. The JMCS also permits single-way data transmission of limited capacity from the Marine RCCC to launches. The Force de-commissioned the A Net, which has served the Force for over 20 years, in April 1996 due to serious maintenance problems. The JMCS is now the only radio network used by the Marine Police.

Security Bureau
October 1997

Last Updated on 3 November 1997