Keys to Suc­cess: Net-cen­tric­ity, Com­mand, Con­trol, Syn­er­gised Op­er­a­tions

There is not only the need to un­der­take pe­ri­odic holis­tic re­views but more im­por­tantly tech­nolo­gies avail­able glob­ally must be op­ti­mised en­sur­ing re­quired se­cu­rity to en­hance our C4I2SR ca­pa­bil­i­ties. This is es­sen­tial in the face of mount­ing threats.

SP's LandForces - - FRONT PAGE - Lt Gen­eral (Retd) P.C. Ka­toch

There is not only the need to un­der­take pe­ri­odic holis­tic re­views but more im­por­tantly tech­nolo­gies avail­able glob­ally must be op­ti­mised en­sur­ing re­quired se­cu­rity to en­hance our C4I2SR ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

THE NEW WAR PAR­A­DIGM de­mands in­te­grated and net­worked de­ci­sion sup­port sys­tems with space, land, sur­face and sub­sur­face sen­sors with state-of-theart weapons and equip­ment whose po­ten­tial re­quires op­ti­mum util­i­sa­tion and syn­ergy to in­flict max­i­mum dam­age on the en­emy. The key to suc­cess will lie in at­tain­ing higher lev­els of net-cen­tric­ity; ef­fec­tive com­mand and con­trol across the force, an ac­cel­er­ated de­ci­sion-ac­tion cy­cle and an abil­ity to con­duct syn­er­gised op­er­a­tions si­mul­ta­ne­ously within the de­fence and se­cu­rity es­tab­lish­ment. With speedy tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments, com­mand, con­trol, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, com­put­ers, in­for­ma­tion and in­tel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and re­con­nais­sance (C4I2SR) sys­tems pro­vide ster­ling op­por­tu­ni­ties for the de­fence and se­cu­rity es­tab­lish­ment act­ing as im­por­tant force mul­ti­plier for com­man­ders at all lev­els. From this, it can be sur­mised that in­tel­li­gence sur­veil­lance and re­con­nais­sance (ISR) are not stand-alone en­ti­ties and must be viewed within the am­bit of a com­pos­ite C4I2SR sys­tem.

Hu­man In­tel­li­gence (HUMINT), tech­ni­cal in­tel­li­gence (TECHINT), sig­nal in­tel­li­gence (SIGINT), open source in­tel­li­gence (OSINT) all com­bine into all source in­tel­li­gence. Ad­van­tages of HUMINT are enor­mous in­clud­ing in en­vi­ron­ment of in­sur­gency and ter­ror­ism, which can­not be re­placed sole re­liance on TECHINT. Yet, even the De­fence In­tel­li­gence Agency (DIA) with man­date to op­er­ate trans-bor­der sources is de­nied per­mis­sion to do so and di­rected to rely on TECHINT. This is the root cause for our in­abil­ity to cope with ir­reg­u­lar and asym­met­ric threats. Army’s fledg­ling Tech­ni­cal Sup­port Di­vi­sion (TSD) unit that has been in the news re­cently too has re­port­edly been shut down. To top this we are also ham­pered with poor map­ping even within our own ter­ri­tory. In­tel­li­gence is the fi­nal prod­uct of in­for­ma­tion and in­for­ma­tion is an op­er­a­tional as­set, the strate­gic value of which has been in­creas­ing by the day. At the na­tional level, the Multi Agency Cen­tre (MAC), Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Grid (NAT­GRID) and the Na­tional Counter Ter­ror­ism Cen­tre (NCTC) are ef­forts to syn­er­gise in­tel­li­gence even though NCTC has not earned con­sen­sus be­cause of fears by states of the Cen­tre mis­us­ing its pow­ers. It is an es­tab­lished fact that the side which has in­for­ma­tion ad­van­tage has more chances of be­ing the win­ner. In mil­i­tary terms, ac­qui­si­tion of in­tel­li­gence or in­for­ma­tion will de­pend on a plethora of sen­sors in­clud­ing HUMINT, pro­cess­ing it speed­ily and dis­sem­i­nat­ing it in real time or near real time at re­quired lev­els in­clud­ing com­man­ders and shoot­ers si­mul­ta­ne­ously. Sur­veil­lance im­plies mon­i­tor­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and chang­ing in­for­ma­tion on ground es­sen­tial for re­spond­ing par­ticu- larly with tele­scoped time frame re­quired for de­ci­sion-mak­ing. Sur­veil­lance has many ap­pli­ca­tions from the op­er­a­tional and strate­gic to the tac­ti­cal level. The re­cent dis­clo­sure of the US Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency (NSA) snoop­ing on for­eign gov­ern­ments, diplo­matic mis­sions, busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als helps the US ma­nip­u­late na­tions in its own na­tional in­ter­ests. Today, com­put­ers, tele­phones, cam­eras, so­cial net­work anal­y­sis, bio­met­rics, aerial means, satel­lites, hu­mans, iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of cre­den­tials, global po­si­tion­ing sys­tem (GPS) and a host of other de­vices are all be­ing used for sur­veil­lance. Re­con­nais­sance is the mil­i­tary term to gain vi­tal in­for­ma­tion about en­emy forces or fea­tures for anal­y­sis and/or dis­sem­i­na­tion. Ex­am­ples of re­con­nais­sance in­clude ob­ser­va­tion posts, pa­trolling by troops/scouts/spe­cial forces/in­tel­li­gence spe­cial­ists/un­manned aerial ve­hi­cles (UAVs), aerial, sur­face and sub­sur­face plat­forms, etc. In the mil­i­tary, sur­veil­lance re­con­nais­sance (SR) is done us­ing binoc­u­lars, long-range de­vices like spo­to­scopes, night vi­sion de­vices (NVDs), weapon sights, ther­mal im­agers (HHTIs), radars of all types, UAVs and mi­cro-aerial ve­hi­cles (MAVs), aerial, sur­face and sub­sur­face plat­forms and satel­lites. The Army is mov­ing to­wards bet­ter sur­veil­lance and tar­get ac­qui­si­tion (SATA) equip­ment with each Ar­tillery Brigade be­ing equipped with a bat­tery and each Corps be­ing given a SATA Reg­i­ment with UAVs and radars as the back­bone for all SATA Reg­i­ments.

The In­dian mil­i­tary is ex­pected to in­duct radars worth over $8.5 bil­lion in the next decade. Var­i­ous indige­nous de­vel­op­men­tal projects for radars and as­so­ci­ated equip­ment as well as in­ter­na­tional ac­qui­si­tions are tak­ing place. The indige­nous projects in­clude de­vel­op­ment of ac­tive elec­tron­i­cally scanned ar­ray (AESA) radar to be fit­ted on the LCA MK II as well as a ‘through wall imag­ing radar’. In­dia has ini­ti­ated in­te­gra­tion of the in­dige­nously-built air­borne early warn­ing and con­trol (AEW&C) sys­tem with the Brazil­ian Em­braer EMB-145 air­craft which In­dia is ac­quir­ing. The EMB-145I air­craft has been mod­i­fied to carry the In­dian-made Ac­tive Ar­ray An­tenna Unit (AAAU). In ad­di­tion, new gen­er­a­tion of multi-func­tion radars which can be in­te­grated with any weapon sys­tem to pro­vide sur­veil­lance, early warn­ing, in­ter­cep­tion guid­ance and raid assess­ment are also be­ing de­vel­oped, in­clud­ing a medium power radar (Aru­dra), a low-level trans­portable 150-kilo­me­tre radar and a syn­thetic aper­ture radar—all ca­pa­ble of be­ing in­te­grated into any weapons sys­tem. The De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO) is also de­vel­op­ing 3D radar sys­tems: the Cen­tral Ac­qui­si­tion Radar (CAR) for use with Akash sur­face-to-air mis­siles (SAMs); ‘Ro­hini’ for the In­dian Air Force (IAF) and ‘Re­vathi’ for the Navy. A third vari­ant (3D tac­ti­cal con­trol radar) for Army re­ports is also be­ing pro­duced. Ac­cord­ing to me­dia, the US firm Raytheon is also talk­ing to the IAF re­gard­ing air­borne SR radars. Raytheon has re­ceived two re­quest for in­for­ma­tion (RFIs) from the IAF but In­dia has not de­cided whether to go for an ac­tive elec­tron­i­cally scanned ar­ray sys­tem or a me­chan­i­cally scanned ar­range­ment. Mean­while, Navy has is­sued an RFI for 3D radars to en­hance sur­veil­lance aboard ships more than 3,000 tonnes to pro­vide 360-de­gree sur­veil­lance to de­tect air­craft, he­li­copters and in­com­ing anti-ship mis­siles. No new radars and UAVs have been in­ducted by the In­dian Army. The move to iden­tify and in­duct MAVs is pro­gress­ing slowly. The DRDO is de­sign­ing a range of MAVs (Black Kite, Golden Hawk and Push­pak al­ready de­vel­oped) but are yet to match up with COTS prod­ucts like the ‘Netra’ by Idea Forge, a spi­der like MAV suited for all types of op­er­a­tions in­clud­ing counter-ter­ror­ism and counter-in­sur­gency or the MAV with an in­frared sen­sor de­vel­oped by Aurora In­te­grated Sys­tem.

With re­spect to C4I2SR, the mil­i­tary is yet to evolve an net­work-cen­tric war­fare (NCW) Doc­trine which should have been the start point to de­velop the NCW ar­chi­tec­ture. Non-merger of HQ In­te­grated De­fence Staff (IDS) with the Min­istry of De­fence (MoD), lack of op­er­a­tional au­thor­ity of the for­mer and the lack of a Chief of De­fence Staff (CDS) have contributed to this. Nei­ther voice or data net­works nor ra­dio com­mu­ni­ca­tions of the ser­vices are in­ter­op­er­a­ble to the de­sired de­gree. Ra­dio sets dif­fer in their fre­quency bands, wave forms and se­crecy al­go­rithms. Net­works of the three ser­vices do not talk to each other. Com­mon stan­dards and pro­to­cols, mu­tu­ally com­pat­i­ble data­base struc­tures, de­vel­op­ment/de­ploy­ment of in­ter­faces be­tween sys­tems us­ing dis­parate plat­forms and com­mon­al­ity of hard­ware have not com­menced. Ser­vices can­not ex­change in­di­vid­ual UAV pic­tures and the Air Force pic­ture does not come di­rectly into Army’s Op­er­a­tions Rooms. No com­mon se­crecy al­go­rithm has been de­vel­oped. Re­quire­ment of a mil­i­tary satel­lite was first pro­jected by the Navy and later caught on by Army and Air Force. Ad­e­quate band­width is at pre­mium. Mil­i­tary’s Project De­fence Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Net­work (DCN), strate­gi­cally con­nect­ing the Corps Head­quar­ters of the Army and equiva-

With re­spect to C4I2SR, the mil­i­tary is yet to evolve a net­work-cen­tric war­fare (NCW) Doc­trine which should have been the start point to de­velop the NCW ar­chi­tec­ture.

lents of sis­ter ser­vices, Strate­gic Forces Com­mand and HQ IDS, has been awarded to HCL In­fosys in early 2013 for de­vel­op­ment over two years. How­ever, the project does not in­clude de­vel­op­ment of req­ui­site soft­ware; im­ply­ing the ser­vices and HQ IDS re­quire de­vel­op­ing soft­ware in­di­vid­u­ally with at­ten­dant in­ter­op­er­abil­ity prob­lems.

Mil­i­tary sur­vey prod­ucts are pri­mar­ily Google based maps that hardly mea­sure up to mil­i­tary re­quire­ments; 30 years be­hind meet­ing rou­tine map­ping re­quire­ments and large-scale map­ping vi­tal for op­er­a­tional in­for­ma­tion sys­tems (OIS) not done at all. DIA is the cen­tral repos­i­tory for all in­tel­li­gence in­puts per­tain­ing to the three ser­vices but we are yet to in­te­grate the as­pects of to­pog­ra­phy with DIA. Within the ex­ist­ing setup, ad­e­quate re­sources in terms of re­mote sens­ing, elec­tronic in­tel­li­gence (ELINT) pay­loads and car­tog­ra­phy are not avail­able to pro­duce high qual­ity fused data. An en­ter­prise ge­o­graphic in­for­ma­tion sys­tem (GIS) is yet to be de­vel­oped and a de­fence spa­tial data in­fra­struc­ture (DSDI) is per­haps decades away. Army’s pri­mary fo­cal points for NCW are the tac­ti­cal com­mand con­trol com­mu­ni­ca­tion and in­tel­li­gence sys­tem (Tac C3I) sys­tem and the TCS aside from the man­age­ment in­for­ma­tion sys­tem (MIS) and GIS. In case of Tac C3I, ar­tillery com­mand, con­trol and com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem (AC­CCS) is al­ready be­ing fielded. A con­tract with the Bharat Elec­tron­ics Limited (BEL) was con­cluded in March 2011 for ` 1,035 crore for equip­ping CIDSS along with a se­cond con­tract of ` 2,635 crore for the BSS but these con­tracts have not been taken to their log­i­cal con­clu­sion in the re­quired time frame. Com­plete field­ing of CIDSS will likely take an­other seven-eight years and be­ing the hub of the Tac C3I will de­lay any mea­sure of net-cen­tric ca­pa­bil­ity. Test bed for the air de­fence con­trol and re­port­ing sys­tem (ADC&RS) is yet to ma­te­ri­alise though con­tract with BEL was signed in March 2008. Ex­pres­sion of In­ter­est (EoI) in re­spect of the BMS has been re­cently is­sued. BEL and a con­sor­tium of Larsen and Toubro (L&T), Tata Power SED and HCL In­fosys Ltd has been se­lected for mak­ing pro­to­type TCS and the best bid­der will then ex­e­cute the project. The Army Strate­gic Op­er­a­tional In­for­ma­tion Dis­sem­i­na­tion Sys­tem (ASTROIDS) sanc­tioned in 1995, to con­nect Corps HQ up­wards to Army HQ, with In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems Se­cu­rity As­so­ci­a­tion (ISSA), DRDO as the de­vel­op­ment agency, but has been re­cently fore­closed lack­ing req­ui­site soft­ware and faulty se­cu­rity over­lay. RFI for a fresh project is un­der prepa­ra­tion.

From the afore­said it is ap­par­ent that there is not only the need to un­der­take pe­ri­odic holis­tic re­views but more im­por­tantly tech­nolo­gies avail­able glob­ally must be op­ti­mised en­sur­ing re­quired se­cu­rity to en­hance our C4I2SR ca­pa­bil­i­ties. This is es­sen­tial in the face of mount­ing threats.

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