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Application of IT in Defence Sector

Bijith Varghese Skariah

School of Management Studies


CUSAT, Kochi – 22
E-mail: bijith.vs@gmail.com

Abstract: The contents emphasizes on the application of information


technology in the defence sector.

Keywords: Defence informatics, The Corps of Signals, Command Control


Communications and Intelligence (C3I).

1.0 INTRODUCTION

The related fields of communications and information technology have seen an


unprecedented growth in the last few years. This has had its consequential impact
on all facets of society - the most affected being the Defence sector. The fact that
the revolution in informatics threatens to redefine the warfare practices is common
knowledge now. The term "information warfare" is widely used and is a testimony to
the impending changes at all levels - macro or micro. In times to come, the warfare
would become far more complex in which communications and informatics would
play a greater role.

2.0 DEFENCE INFORMATICS: AN INEVITABLE EXPLOSION

The state-of-the-art and exorbitantly priced weapons demand adequate knowledge


about communications, computers and automation. Though these weapons have
expert systems built-in by the manufacturers, their usage, repair and maintenance
demand that we are well equipped to handle them. Information is rapidly becoming
a strategic resource as well as a principal battle winning factor. The information
revolution is a product of advances in the computerized information,
telecommunication technologies and related innovations. Out of this very fact is
emerging the concept of what we term as "information warfare."

The Corps of Signals has got state-of-the-art tactical grid networks since 1989 and
at strategic level static networks since 1991 which have served it well. As a part of
an evolutionary process, the Corps is constantly planning, executing and upgrading
the existing communication architectures. The Corps is in the process of "test bed
formulation" for state-of-the-art tactical communication network for the field forces
which would also be the transport network for the Command Control
Communications and Intelligence (C3I) architecture. As relating to static networks,
the Corps is at the execution stage for adding additional networks as part of phase
3 of its structure based on the state-of-the-art ATM technology. In addition, steps
have been taken to develop a strategic communications network. The intention is to
exploit optical fibre cable (OFC) based on terrestrial network as also satellite
connectivity.

While the proposed modern architectures would take time for desired induction and
implementation, the Corps is constantly expanding and exploiting its existing
architecture with commercially off-the-shelf communication and information
technology equipment with the right emphasis on value added services like data,
fax and video. The initial step has been the extension of strategic communications
network facility to all major headquarters based on DOT hired OFC media,
particularly on account of 2/8 Mbps media connectivities. The subsequent step has
been in the formation of an overlay architecture to create, firstly, high speed data
channels for the Army intranet and, secondly, to utilise the same overlay
architecture for voice networking between Army HQrs and various important
headquarters. This architecture has also been utilised for introduction of video
conferencing. To provide communications to far flung inhospitable areas, there has
been a need for a high capacity space based media. The quantum leaps taken by
the nation in the field of satellites could provide satellite based highways between
the Army Headquarters and formations on the front.

2.0 SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE INDIAN ARMY

Our Army in general and the Corps of Signals, in particular, have been at the
forefront in absorbing the information technology since seventies. The state-of-the-
art and exorbitantly priced weapons demand adequate knowledge about
communications, computers and automation. Though these weapons have expert
systems built-in by the manufacturers, their usage, repair and maintenance
demand that we are well equipped to handle them. Information is rapidly becoming
a strategic resource as well as a principal battle winning factor. The information
revolution is a product of advances in the computerised information,
telecommunication technologies and related innovations. Out of this very fact is
emerging the concept of what we term as "information warfare."

The Corps of Signals has got state-of-the-art tactical grid networks since 1989 and
at strategic level static networks since 1991 which have served it well. As a part of
an evolutionary process, the Corps is constantly planning, executing and upgrading
the existing communication architectures. The Corps is in the process of "test bed
formulation" for state-of-the-art tactical communication network for the field forces
which would also be the transport network for the Command Control
Communications and Intelligence (C3I) architecture. As relating to static networks,
the Corps is at the execution stage for adding additional networks as part of phase
3 of its structure based on the state-of-the-art ATM technology. In addition, steps
have been taken to develop a strategic communications network. The intention is to
exploit optical fibre cable (OFC) based on terrestrial network as also satellite
connectivity.
While the proposed modern architectures would take time for desired induction and
implementation, the Corps is constantly expanding and exploiting its existing
architecture with commercially off-the-shelf communication and information
technology equipment with the right emphasis on value added services like data,
fax and video. The initial step has been the extension of strategic communications
network facility to all major headquarters based on DOT hired OFC media,
particularly on account of 2/8 Mbps media connectivities. The subsequent step has
been in the formation of an overlay architecture to create, firstly, high speed data
channels for the Army intranet and, secondly, to utilise the same overlay
architecture for voice networking between Army HQrs and various important
headquarters. This architecture has also been utilised for introduction of video
conferencing. To provide communications to far flung inhospitable areas, there has
been a need for a high capacity space based media. The quantum leaps taken by
the nation in the field of satellites could provide satellite based highways between
the Army Headquarters and formations on the front.

3.0 MOBILE COMMUNICATION NETWORK

The Indian Army has entered into the network era with the fielding of the mobile
network. This system is the result of the constant efforts of the Corps of Signals to
provide better and advanced communication techniques to the commander in the
field. The Area Grid Communication System had been conceptualized in the mid-
sixties and the project was given to M/s BEL to develop this system and field it.
This system, based on a sophisticated automatic electronic switching device, using
state-of-the- art digital technology, is currently being used to provide
communication to commanders at all levels from `anywhere to any where' and from
`any one to any one'. It is a truly mobile network providing the `Gypsy' subscribers
(ie the mobile commanders) full communication on the move.

The mobile network is also fully integrated with the Static Communications System
thus permitting commanders of strike formations easy communication with their
counterparts in the holding formations; both during operations and exercises.
Keeping in tune with the rapid technology advancements, the Corps of Signals is in
the process of upgrading its communication systems with the state-of-the-art ATM
switches providing larger bandwidths and achieving an integration between static
and mobile network.

The absorption of latest technology and adapting it to the peculiar requirements of


the Armed Forces has been the hallmark of the Corps of Signals. This technology
has proliferated to the cutting edge to our fighting soldiers. The operational aspect
apart, even the welfare communications wherein soldiers are able to keep in touch
with their families while being engaged in terminating enemy has been taken on by
the Corps of Signals with great zeal and enthusiasm.

4.0 REFERENCES

1. http://mod.nic.in/Samachar/1feb01/html/trish.htm,
downloaded on 28-09-2009.
2. http://www.waset.org/journals/waset/v9/v9-1.pdf,
downloaded on 28-09-2009.