INDIAN ARMY TO DEVELOP NEW C4ISR SYSTEMS
By Bulbul Singh
12 Aug 09. The Indian Army has submitted fresh requirement of C4ISR systems to the Indian defence ministry which include acquisition of Army Strategic Operational Information Dissemination Systems (ASTROIDS) and the Tactical Command Control Communication and Information (TAC-C31) system.
These programs are in addition to the ongoing C4ISR development projects which aim to link the battlefield to the top of the decision making hierarchy in the Indian Army.
The Indian Army in its proposal to the Indian defence ministry has said the ASTROIDS and TAC-C3I will be at the heart of the network centric warfare program which will enable movement from platform centric to network centric warfare. The proposal adds that these programs will enable the Indian Army to break the Observe, Orient, Decide and Act (OODA) cycle of the enemy.
The ASTROIDS will connect the Indian Army’s headquarters with various commands and down the line to the battlefield level. The system will work at the field formation as the TAC-C31 system.
An Indian Army official said,” The TAC-C3I system will assist in planning, directing and controlling field forces with timely and credible information to the commanders, process and evaluate data for quick decision making and capability to send directions to various weapon systems.
The Technical objectives of the TAC-C3I system would be to capture data, manage data, evaluate data and transfer information between units for effective commanding and reporting.
Currently the Indian Army is developing half a dozen network centric projects which are like the TAC-C3I system and include the Tactical Communication System (TCS), and Defence Communication Network (DCN).
The TCS is a communication program linking the theatre and the troops on the battlefield. Even this program is likely to be completed by 2012.
So far the Indian Army has integrated a homegrown Army Static Switched Communication Network (ASCON), called Mercury Thunder. ACSON is a digital, fully automated, secure and survivable static communication system that is based on microwave radio, optical-fiber cable, satellite and millimetre wave communication equipment,
The Indian Army is now executing the last phase of the ASCON
project with the help of private sector Information Technology companies.
The TCS architecture comprises secure radios ,satellite terminal systems and fibre optic links and will also have new generation protection systems against hostile Electronic jamming threats, said the Indian Army official. The system will be linked with smart antenna systems to support its transmission systems and will be linked to several surveillance and intelligence gathering systems of the Indian Army including the Aerostat radar and several Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
The Indian Army has meantime is integrating the homemade system called Samvahak which has been developed the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR) a unit of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
“The system has been tested in several field exercises,” said an Indian Army official.
“Another Network Centric Program under development includes inducting a Wireless Message Transfer Unit (WMTU) which provides connectivity to mobile clients for accessing network resources. Indian Army has also successfully tested the system called Sanjay as a part of Battlefield Surveillance System (BSS).” The official said. Both the Sanjay and Samvahak have robust information security features.