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By Bulbul Singh

21 Nov 07. India’s ambitious homegrown C4I system, Artillery Command Control
Communication System [ACCCS] is facing technical problems, and is behind scheduled. The program is now being developed with overseas help.

Sources in the Indian defence ministry said the development of the prestigious ACCCS program worth over $400m, being jointly developed by India’s state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation[ DRDO] and the state owned production company Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL)is facing technical problems and is behind scheduled. However, an executive of BEL said there is no problem at the technical level, but the users, the Indian Army, have revised the qualitative requirements midway, due to which the computers and other sub-systems will need to be upgraded.

Sources in the Indian defence ministry say, BEL which was to indigenously develop the computers bought from Elbit of Israel, that these computers have now been found to be outdated and the Indian Army wants them to be upgraded.

A senior official of BEL, who did not want to be named, said BEL bought the tactical computers from Elbit because the other computers in the competition from Poland, US and France were too expensive adding that the Elbit offer was the best in terms of requirements and cost.

The ACCCS which is mooted to work as a force multiplier will increase the firing power of the Indian artillery manifold and the system based on C3I systems. The system also called Shakti, would automate the artillery’s tactical fire control from the regiment level down to battery command posts.
Shakti is based on the U.S. Army’s ACCS concept but the technology has been developed by the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Bangalore which is under DRDO, whereas the second partner, BEL will build and develop computers and intelligent terminals connected as a wide area network.
Its main subsystems are the artillery computer center, battery computer, remote access terminal and gun display unit.

An Indian Army official said, ACCCS will be remotely linked with artillery gun fire control systems, artillery control equipment and guided missile systems which in turn will be linked with the commander in the battlefield and the headquarters

The heart of the program ACCCS is a state-of-the-art fire control system which is being assembled by DRDO with the help of Russian arms export agency, Rosboronxport. The fire control system of ACCCS comprises reconnaissance system, guiding systems and communication control system. The Computers have been procured from Elbit of Israel.

The development of the ACCCS which is expected to increase the firepower by an estimated five times is already delayed and if the Indian defence ministry does not sort out the matter between the various agencies developing the program and the end user, the program could be further delayed considerably, said a senior Indian Army official.

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