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By Bulbul Singh

08 Sep 10. The Indian defence ministry has established an overriding priority for the completion of the Mountain Electronic Warfare(EW) projects, which are to be deployed along the Chinese border. The defence planners also want a further 12 EW projects to be accelerated.

Following a decision by Indian defence planners, the Indian Army’s secret Himshakti project, the Mountain EW System, Integrated Electronic Warfare Systems [IEWS] Battle Managements Systems and other C4ISR systems such as the Tactical Communication Systems (TCS) will reach design and development by year-end.

The Himshakti system will be developed by state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited(BEL)and the $1 billion TCS programme will also be developed by state-owned defence companies.

Himshakti incorporates features like ultraviolet (UV) VHF directional finders, UV VHF jammers and HF direction finders and jammers and standalone jammers. It will also be capable of operating cellular interception systems, satellite intercept systems and a special information warfare system.

The award for the Mountain EW system will be finalized from several overseas defence companies in the competition including: Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, Thales, Rohde & Schwarz and Rafael and Elta.

Another ambitious C4ISR systems to be accelerated is the Indian Army’s $1 billion Battlefield Management System (BMS) which is also likely to be finalized by the end of the year or beginning of next. “While only an RFI has been floated so far, this could mean that the BMS system could also go to a state-owned defence company,” said Indian defence ministry sources.

The BMS will comprise palm computers at the soldier level and tactical computers at the command level. The system, the first of its kind for the Indian Army will provide tools for terrain analysis, details of own and enemy troops, resources, capability and weapon systems. Besides, the system at the infantry level will also support operational logistic applications at the unit level which will include deployment, management and planning of minefields, obstacles, management of casualties, management of weapons and ammunition management

BMS will also include Command and Decision Support Systems, Surveillance Systems, Weapon Systems, Systems to coordinate Time and Space, Information Warfare systems and in-built Operational logistic Systems. It will be operated through a high capacity Tactical Data Network by employing standard interfaces and protocols. The crucial aspect of the BMS will be its high mobility and its ability to network itself by integration of components to provide a high data rate.

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