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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 10, 2007
Armed forces still ambiguous about adopting new communication technology
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Armed forces still ambiguous about adopting new communication technology

The much talked about modernisation of the Indian defence communication system in tandem with the network centric warfare of the coming days is set to take more time, as the armed forces are still not clear on which technology to adopt.

By Sudhakar Jagdish

New Delhi, May 10 : The much talked about modernisation of the Indian defence communication system in tandem with the network centric warfare of the coming days is set to take more time, as the armed forces are still not clear on which technology to adopt.

The three services of the armed forces-- army, air force and navy-- of the country are not convinced at all on the present network system being offered by various firms from within the country and abroad, since they are not sure of its operational viability five years down the lane.

"We are not sure about the technology that we are being offered will be as good as it is now five to seven years later," a top official of the Indian Army said at an international seminar on the future defence network strategies here today.

The armed forces want to shift their focus from platform centric to network centric with a seamlessly integrated network infrastructure, which is secure, reliable and interoperable to maximise the combat power.

They are keen to adopt a 'sunrise technology' such that by the time the technology gets adopted by the services it is already the latest.

"Kargil War and Operation Parakaram (the deployment of forces along the border in Pakistan in the wake of December 13, 2001 Parliament attack) have highlighted the need for digitised battlefield," said Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Deepak Kapoor, adding, "Already many steps have been taken and more are in the pipeline."

The Armed Forces, which has set up the 2009 deadline for having Network Enable system and upgrading it to Network Centric by 2012, does not want 'flat system' with all the levels having same kind of communication privileges but a hierarchical one, which is adaptable and meet the need for multiple use.

Indian Air Force also expressing their dissatisfaction about the shortcomings of the present network system stated that interoperability is not possible in today's system and there is time lag that could not be used during real time decision-making scenario.

All the three services expressed their desire to connect each individual soldiers on the frontline with the command area on a real time basis such that the latter is aware of each and every movement of the soldiers and devise a plan accordingly.

It also expressed their wish that the new network system should have the capability to get restored within 50 milliseconds in case of failure.

But these 'high' technological demands from the communication industry have left some of the firms participating in the seminar confused.

Few of them stated that in absence of a coherent proposal from the armed forces it becomes difficult for them to devise a new network communication strategy for the forces.

Thus, the decision on selecting a suitable communication technology, which would be secure, real-time basis network centric strategy with interoperability for the defence forces of the country, could still take some time.

ANI

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