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The Centenary Year and Beyond

The Centenary Year and Beyond

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Published by jkraj462364
Corps of Signals Centenary Celebrations
Corps of Signals Centenary Celebrations

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: jkraj462364 on Sep 05, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Lt Gen (retd) S. R. R.Aiyengar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
“The vision of Signals Corps is to attain and maintain informatics ascendancy bydeveloping infostructure to cater for Network Centric Warfare in a digitized battlefield of tomorrow.The aim and objective of Signals Corps is to make the Indian Army Network Enabled Force by 2012 and Network Centric Force by 2017” (Extracts from Official Website of Indian Army –Corps of Signals.)
1. It has been rightly commented that the saga of wars has been a narrative of humaningenuity and resilience amidst all adversities. The tales of valour epitomizes the ‘
never  say die’ 
attitude of the soldier. The Corps can be justifiably proud of its alacrity and professionalism of the highest order rubbing shoulders with their brethren from thecombat forces. In the words of one of the former SO-in-C’s, the Saga of the Corps has been “a story of enterprise and endeavor, of accomplishment, and of courage andconsistency. The methods of signaling used in the yester years may appear very primitivetoday, and one can only marvel at their ingenuity and determination.” The tasks on handfor the Corps have been unenviable, given the thirst for signal communications andkeeping them ‘
’ always and every time. The accolades won testify the dexterityand technical acumen punctuated with combat skills exhibited by all ranks of the Corps.Some invaluable major pioneering efforts have been the “
Area Grid Systems’
, the
’, ‘
Enterprise Wide Messaging Network’
and ‘
Cellular Communications’.
2. As a part of the Centenary celebrations, it is planned to release the Third Volume of The Corps History, a compilation done by a dedicated and committed Veteran of TheCorps-Maj Gen (retired) VK Singh. This painstaking compilation would surely reflect onthe rich and valuable contributions by all concerned during the period under review. Alsoit would set the right framework for similar compilation of the ensuing years to the present day .There is another monumental contribution by yet another visionary of theCorps—Maj Gen (Retd) Yeshwant Deva,AVSM—“
Dedicated to my son-TheSignalman
” as he puts it. Laced with a strenuous research spread over two decades, this1
 book titled
“Sky is the Limit”
is a first hand account of the ‘SIGNALS’ in
highlighting some very defining and inspiring acts of valor , dedication andcommitment our Corps personnel.3. As we draw inspiration from the performance of the Corps in the years gone by, it isalso a good time to reflect on the future especially the challenges that lie ahead and howwe view the ‘the core competencies’ of the Corps in the coming years.. We shouldlogically arrive at a strategic perspective paving the way for what needs to be doneinternally to culminate into a well thought out strategy for execution and as a long termorientation of the Corps against the backdrop of warfare of the future. There is yetanother factor we have to contend with namely the influence of ‘technology’. It is toughto make predictions especially of technology, but we do have some idea as to what arelikely in the years ahead. The speed and convergence of scientific and engineeringdisciplines promise to fundamentally change the nature of deployment and redeployment,and prolonged sustainement of forces. Discovery and innovative breakthroughs inscientific areas related to high density- energy sources, superior material reliability, andinformation and knowledge fusion across the operational, intelligence, and logisticsdomain will vastly increase the combat readiness and operational effectives of the ArmedForces. The
Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA
) has become a reality and has brought in significant changes in military doctrines at one level and in hardware at theother. Military technologies are changing rapidly and their procurement and inductiondemand a proper understanding of the wide array of the technology spectrum. We needto factor all these aspects in the strategic perspective of the Corps
Looking Beyond the Horizon—Adapting to Netcentric Warfare(NCW)Paradigm
4. Warfare over the past fifty years or so, and especially in the last decade, has undergonedramatic changes.
has led to increasing battlefield transparency for commandersdown to soldiers, in the form of a digitized battlefield. It has changed the entire context of surveillance, intelligence gathering, engagement of targets and decision support systems.
is the requirement of the future as it brings
Information superiority
to theforefront as an effective force multiplier. Metcalf Law states that the power of a network increases as the square of the number of nodes in the network. Timely and accurateavailability of information increases its value manifold and results in sound decisionmaking. While powerful weapons platforms are obviously necessary for militarydomination and deterrence, supremacy in the battles of the 21st century will hinge onsophisticated command, control and communications systems that link the ‘shooters’ and‘sensors’ together to achieve synergy through network centricity and effects-basedoperations. The
Battlefield Management System (BMS)
is meant for communicationsfrom the battalion headquarters forward to the companies and platoons. It will enable theCommanding Officer to enhance his situational awareness and command his battalionthrough a secure communications network with built-in redundancy.
involves bignumbers and will be fielded both in the plains and the mountains.
TacticalCommunication System (TCS)
for offensive operations -a mobile system that can2
'leapfrog' forward as the operation progresses into enemy territory will hopefully see thelight of the day soon.5. Communication support topology in NCW environs is more infrastructural andnetwork based as against hierarchical. Dispersed and well spread out static and mobileinfrastructure forms the basic backbone fabric, with users hooking on at convenient points to derive vertical and horizontal communication support. There would a largenumber of disparate networks for different user-groups, but these would all converge atsome level. The convergence of Networks would not only enable real-time passage of information from the source to the decision maker/ initiator of action, in the desired form, but also allow sharing of information among different groups of users for achieving thedesired degree of synergy and synchronization of activities. The concept would have to be extended to all the three services, joint war fighting, since NCW cannot succeedwithout the requisite level of jointmanship. A
Tri-Service Defence CommunicationsNetwork (DCN)
is now under development and the proposals which have been receivedare being evaluated. In essence, the power of NCW is derived from effective
“Network of Networks”
. Mission effectiveness can be dramatically increased by robustlynetworking a force, which improves information sharing and situational awareness. Thisdemands a
“Seamless Integration of both Strategic and Tactical Networks.”
Sharedsituational awareness enables synergy amongst all components of battlefield but places avery demand upon the bandwidth and quality of service. Command and control Centreswould be the prime targets in future wars. These requirements can be addressed byhaving
“Overlay Networks”.
Especially in the Indian context, Communications andinformatics for the military has of necessity to be based on a multi-layered, multi-mediaand multi systems infrastructure, with a view to ensure inherent attributes of survivability, scalability and security. Towards this end
(Army Static SwitchedCommunication Network) is the pioneer of our country’s enterprise- wide captiveCommunication network—a first of its kind, and serves as the back bone of the overallcommunication network. The future may beckon Indian Military to fight a war as part of a coalition force, in the NCW environment. It is essential that adequate communicationinfrastructure be developed to meet the challenges of 
Command, Control,Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Inter-operability, Surveillance andReconnaissance (C
not only in terms of hardware, but software and mostimportantly, the
‘Core Competencies of the Corps”
in such an operationalenvironment.
Core Competencies/Thrust Areas of the Corps in the Days Ahead
6. Against the backdrop of what has been stressed in the preceding paragraphs of theoperational template, the following would emerge as the core competencies/thrust areasof the Corps in the future. These by no means relegates many other competencies whichwe have identified in the past and grouped under the general rubric of “Signalmanship”and enhancing ‘professionalismof the Corps personnel. These revised corecompetencies/ thrust areas are by no means exhaustive but surely are prime areas for attention if we are carry out our assigned tasks in NCW scenario as ‘InformationWarriors’ which we all take great pride to be :-3

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