Build Ca­pac­ity, Strengthen In­ter­op­er­abil­ity

While the In­dian Army is con­tin­u­ously work­ing on bet­ter­ing its C4I2SR ca­pa­bil­i­ties, there is need for more fo­cus and ac­cel­er­a­tion of ca­pac­ity build­ing in this con­text. Equally im­por­tant is achiev­ing in­ter­op­er­abil­ity amongst the three ser­vices since fu­ture

SP's LandForces - - C4I2SR - LT GEN­ERAL (RETD) P.C. KA­TOCH

IN­DIAN ARMY’S CA­PAC­ITY BUILD­ING in C4I2SR comes up for dis­cus­sion time and again while fo­cus on sim­i­lar ca­pa­bil­ity of the In­dian Mil­i­tary re­mains pe­riph­eral. The rea­son for the lat­ter is es­sen­tially HQ In­te­grated De­fence Staff (IDS) hav­ing come up as a sep­a­rate HQ in­stead of be­ing in­te­grated into the Min­istry of De­fence (MoD) sans any worth­while clout in the ab­sence of a Chief of De­fence Staff (CDS) hav­ing been ap­pointed. The tac­ti­cal com­mand, con­trol, com­mu­ni­ca­tions and in­for­ma­tion sys­tem (Tac C3I) which es­sen­tially is the main­stay of the Army’s C4I2SR is plod­ding along with cus­tom­ary hic­cups cour­tesy in-house red-tapism, a De­fence Pro­cure­ment Pol­icy not match­ing with fast paced tech­no­log­i­cal changes, lack of over­all fo­cus and un­der­stand­ing of tech­nol­ogy. Ur­gency of time fac­tor ap­pears lost, in­di­cat­ing that the im­por­tance of in­for­ma­tion as a strate­gic as­set ap­pears un­clear.

Tac C3I

In­dian Army’s Tac C3I com­prises the ar­tillery com­mand, con­trol and com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem (ACCCS), air de­fence con­trol and re­port­ing sys­tem (ADC&RS), bat­tle­field sur­veil­lance sys­tem (BSS), bat­tle­field man­age­ment sys­tem (BMS), all of which have been/are be­ing de­vel­oped di­rectly un­der the Di­rec­torate Gen­eral of In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems (DGIS) and will be in­te­grated through the Com­mand In­for­ma­tion De­ci­sion Sup­port Sys­tem (CIDSS), also be­ing de­vel­oped by the DGIS. The Tac C3I will also in­te­grate the In­dian Army’s elec­tronic war­fare sys­tem (EWS) and elec­tronic in­tel­li­gence sys­tem (ELINT) oper­at­ing un­der Mil­i­tary Op­er­a­tions and Mil­i­tary In­tel­li­gence re­spec­tively. The Tac C3I is to pro­vide state-of-the-art C4I2 con­nec­tiv­ity within the In­dian Army at Corps HQ and be­low lev­els. Up­ward con­nec­tiv­ity from Corps HQ to Army HQ level is to be pro­vided through the Army Strate­gic Op­er­a­tional In­for­ma­tion Dis­sem­i­na­tion Sys­tem (ASTROIDS), also be­ing de­vel­oped un­der the aegis of the DGIS. The cur­rent sta­tus of these var­i­ous sys­tems is as un­der:

This is the first op­er­a­tional in­for­ma­tion sys­tem (OIS) that has been fielded in the In­dian Army that pro­vides com­plete au­to­ma­tion of ar­tillery tasks from the com­mand post to the gun end. The fi­nal phase (Phase 3) in the field is near­ing com­ple­tion.

Re­quired to in­te­grate with IAF’s air de­fence sys­tem, the test bed ap­pears de­layed by an­other four to five months and may com­mence by Septem­ber-Oc­to­ber this year.

In de­vel­op­ment of the BSS that is to in­te­grate In­dian Army’s to­tal sur­veil­lance re­sources, the Bharat Elec­tron­ics Ltd (BEL) ap­pears to be hav­ing the same prob­lems as it had in de­vel­op­ing the ACCCS—bulk im­ported hard­ware and tech­nol­ogy but lim­ited in­dige­nous ca­pac­ity in ap­pli­ca­tions, de­sign and soft­ware cus­tomi­sa­tion. Hope­fully, the test bed will be­gin in the near fu­ture.

Project BMS, de­signed pan-Army,

ACCCS:

ADC&RS:

BSS:

BMS:

for pro­vid­ing real time updated op­er­a­tional pic­ture at bat­tal­ion and reg­i­ment level, un­der­went an al­most three years de­lay within Army HQ be­cause of the lack of de­lim­i­ta­tion be­tween the BMS and the fu­ture in­fantry sol­dier sys­tem (F-IN­SAS) be­ing de­vel­oped by the Di­rec­torate Gen­eral of In­fantry (DG Inf). BMS was ap­proved last year by the De­fence Ac­qui­si­tion Coun­cil (DAC) as a ‘Make In­dia’ project, fol­low­ing which the DG Ac­qui­si­tion or­dered an In­te­grated Project Man­age­ment Study (IPMT), which is cur­rently on­go­ing and should be com­pleted by the end of the year.

Be­ing de­vel­oped by BEL, the sta­tus and de­lays are the same as men­tioned in the case of the BSS above.

The con­cept of in­te­gra­tion through the CIDSS was ac­cepted in prin­ci­ple some­time back and im­ple­men­ta­tion ac­tion is likely to be­gin in Phase 2 of these sys­tems, once CIDSS is de­vel­oped.

Cur­rently, anom­alies in the sys­tem de­vel­oped by the In­sti­tute for Sys­tem Study and Anal­y­sis (ISSA) that func­tions un­der the De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO) are be­ing ad­dressed by the ASROID In­duc­tion Cell (AIC) of the DGIS.

CIDSS:

EWS & ELINT:

ASTROIDS:

Sur­veil­lance

No new radars and un­manned aerial ve­hi­cles (UAVs) have been in­ducted by the In­dian Army. The move to iden­tify and in­duct MAVs that have al­ready emerged as ver­i­ta­ble force mul­ti­pli­ers in other armies, has not pro­gressed much pre­dom­i­nantly since the In­fantry has been fo­cused more on the FINSAS. This is de­spite the DRDO de­sign­ing a range of MAVs (Black Kite, Golden Hawk and Push­pak al­ready de­vel­oped) but avail­abil­ity of other in­dige­nous prod­ucts in the mar­ket like the ‘Ne­tra’ by Idea Forge, a spi­der like MAV suited for all types of op­er­a­tions in­clud­ing coun­tert­er­ror­ism and counter-in­sur­gency or the MAV with an in­fra red sen­sor de­vel­oped by Aurora In­te­grated Sys­tems. de­vel­op­ment of var­i­ous OIS, run­ning on hard scale au­tho­ri­sa­tion of of­fi­cers since long, were manag­ing their re­spec­tive charges with dif­fi­culty. Though PMO is a glob­ally ac­cepted con­cept, PMOs in DGIS were scrapped some months back and re­placed with cells that have even lesser au­tho­ri­sa­tion of of­fi­cers than what were posted on hard scale in the PMOs. The ad­verse ef­fects in terms of meet­ing time­lines are ev­i­dent.

De­fence Pro­cure­ment Pol­icy (DPP):

The yearly re­view of the DPP is a cos­metic ex­er­cise grossly un­suited to pro­cure­ment of in­for­ma­tion sys­tems con­sid­er­ing the fast pace of tech­no­log­i­cal changes. Re­view within MoD has lit­tle mean­ing. The yearly re­view should ac­tu­ally be out­sourced to think tanks in­cor­po­rat­ing both the DRDO and the pri­vate in­dus­try.

Im­pli­ca­tions of the Na­tional Re­mote Data Pol­icy worked out by the Group of Min­is­ters (GoM) dur­ing 2011 are that OIS hence­forth will only have one me­tre res­o­lu­tion. This is a ret­ro­grade step as half me­tre res­o­lu­tion is al­ready avail­able on Google to the ter­ror­ists and in­sur­gents and our ad­ver­saries would be look­ing for some­thing even bet­ter.

Re­mote Data Pol­icy:

In­for­ma­tion-Strate­gic As­set

The above in­di­cates that some­where we are los­ing sight of con­sid­er­ing in­for­ma­tion as a strate­gic as­set. Even the planned re­or­gan­i­sa­tion of Pak­istan’s Gen­eral Head­quar­ters en­vis­ages Sig­nals be­ing placed un­der In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems. In our case, there is a move to el­e­vate the DGMO to a Prin­ci­pal Staff Of­fi­cer (PSO) and place DGIS un­der him. How­ever, the DGMO not only has no staff from In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems, as is the case with the DCOAS (IS&T), but of­fi­cers in sec­tions of Sig­nals un­der DGMO have been re­spon­si­ble for stonewalling /de­lay­ing OIS of the DGIS; ex­am­ple be­ing the un­war­ranted de­lays posed in case of CIDSS. The BMS-FINSAS de­lim­i­ta­tion im­passe too was be­cause of the DGMO. If merger of Sig­nals with DGIS is not ac­cept­able, it would be more pru­dent to el­e­vate the DGIS to a PSO and place him di­rectly un­der the Vice Chief.

Win­ning Fac­tor

Cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion of in­for­ma­tion in war­fare re­quires no em­pha­sis. Su­pe­ri­or­ity of C4I2SR will be a ma­jor win­ning fac­tor that would fa­cil­i­tate bat­tle­field trans­parency, real time/ near real time ex­change of in­for­ma­tion ver­ti­cally and hor­i­zon­tally, as­sist de­ci­sion-mak­ing by com­man­ders at all lev­els by ac­cel­er­at­ing the de­ci­sion-ac­tion cy­cle, tele­scope the sen­sor to shooter gap, en­able en­gage­ment with best weaponry in req­ui­site quan­tum and mon­i­tor post-en­gage­ment ef­fects.

While the In­dian Army is con­tin­u­ously work­ing on bet­ter­ing its C4I2SR ca­pa­bil­i­ties, there is need for more fo­cus and ac­cel­er­a­tion of ca­pac­ity build­ing in this con­text. Equally im­por­tant is achiev­ing in­ter­op­er­abil­ity amongst the three ser­vices since fu­ture op­er­a­tions would nec­es­sar­ily be joint; and with­out in­ter­op­er­abil­ity, com­bat ca­pa­bil­ity of our mil­i­tary in com­bat can­not be op­ti­mised.

Elec­tronic War­fare Jam­mer

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