Tac­ti­cal Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Sys­tems ICTEC chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties

SP's MAI - - MILITARY REPORT - [ By Lt Gen­eral (Retd) Naresh Chand]

“My vi­sion of a mil­i­tary net­work is one in which the users are trans­par­ent to the com­plex­i­ties of net­work en­gi­neer­ing and are a part of one uni­ver­sal space.” — Lt Gen­eral S.P. Kochhar, SO-in-C, Sig­nals

Tech­nol­ogy has caused rev­o­lu­tion­ary changes in the field of de­fence com­mu­ni­ca­tions, sur­veil­lance and weapon-han­dling ca­pa­bil­i­ties. In mod­ern and fu­ture bat­tle­fields, de­mand for real time/near real time si­t­u­a­tional aware­ness for de­ci­sion-mak­ing has also in­creased con­sid­er­ably, which im­plies that the re­quire­ment of voice, video and data has be­come very large. In such a sce­nario, the suc­cess­ful in­te­gra­tion of sen­sors, shoot­ers and the de­ci­sion-mak­ers is achieved by net­work­ing numer­ous com­mu­ni­ca­tions, elec­tronic war­fare and cy­ber el­e­ments us­ing mul­ti­ple me­dia for var­i­ous lev­els of op­er­a­tions and ge­o­graph­i­cal bound­aries. Mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ca­tions there­fore trans­late in­for­ma­tion su­pe­ri­or­ity into com­bat power and are a cat­a­lyst for op­er­a­tional success which is be­ing achieved by net­work­ing the in­for­ma­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy (ICT) el­e­ments us­ing mul­ti­ple medi­ums in­clud­ing: • Op­ti­cal fi­bre ca­ble and high ca­pac­ity point-to-point wire­less

sys­tems in the strate­gic sphere. • High ca­pac­ity point-to-point and point-to-multi-point wire­less sys­tems, mo­bile ad hoc wire­less sys­tems (based on numer­ous tech­nolo­gies like WiMax, Tetra, GSM and CDMA) and meshed com­bat net ra­dio (based on IP and soft­ware de­fined ra­dio) in the op­er­a­tional and tac­ti­cal spheres. • The ac­cess is achieved by us­ing high ca­pac­ity wide­band wire

less ac­cess sys­tems, op­ti­cal fi­bre ca­ble and field ca­bles in both. • An over­lay of satel­lite pro­vides ‘be­yond line of sight re­dun­dancy’. A net­work-cen­tric force will have the abil­ity to share and ex­change in­for­ma­tion in near real time be­tween var­i­ous ge­o­graph­i­cally dis­trib­uted op­er­a­tional el­e­ments like: sen­sors, re­gard­less of

Tac­ti­cal Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Sys­tem

The need for a state-of-the-art tac­ti­cal com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem (TCS) has been long felt and Project TCS was con­ceived to bridge the gap be­tween the ex­ist­ing and con­tem­po­rary tech­nolo­gies in this sphere. TCS will be the foun­da­tion of the In­dian Army’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion net­work which will be a ro­bust, snoop-proof, mo­bile, cel­lu­lar net­work for voice and data com­mu­ni­ca­tions dur­ing bat­tle. It will al­low in­te­grated com­mu­ni­ca­tion at mul­ti­ple lev­els and in­clude a broad range of sub­sys­tems from cel­lu­lar tele­phones to equip­ment sen­sors. With the se­lec­tion of two devel­op­ment agen­cies, Bharat Elec­tron­ics Lim­ited (BEL) and a con­sor­tium of Larsen and Tubro (L&T), Tata Power SED and HCL In­fosys Ltd, TCS, has be­come the first mega project to reach the de­sign and devel­op­ment stage of the ‘Make’ pro­ce­dure un­der the De­fence Pro­cure­ment Pro­ce­dure 2011. The In­dian in­dus­try is be­ing given an op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in the project and ex­hibit its prow­ess. plat­form; shoot­ers, re­gard­less of ser­vice af­fil­i­a­tions; and de­ci­sion­mak­ers and sup­port­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions, re­gard­less of lo­ca­tion.

The man­age­ment of such a large ar­ray of sys­tems has many chal­lenges. Spec­trum man­age­ment be­comes com­plex as it is crowded with an in­crease in the ap­pli­ca­tions which re­quire larger band­widths. Thus mod­ern com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems ex­ploit in­for­ma­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy, elec­tron­ics and cy­ber (ICTEC), as com­plex and com­ple­men­tary sub-sys­tems of mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ca­tion net­works. There­fore, as a part of the Army’s trans­for­ma­tion process, re­plac­ing civil-ori­ented ICT phi­los­o­phy (pri­mar­ily a sys­tems frame­work) to a mil­i­tary-ori­ented ICTEC phi­los­o­phy (a net­works struc­ture) is in­escapable and will con­trib­ute im­mensely in de­vel­op­ing and field­ing the TCS.

Keep­ing the vi­sion of trans­form­ing the In­dian Army into a net­cen­tric force, Corps of Sig­nals, the com­mu­ni­ca­tion arm of the army along­with the Con­fed­er­a­tion of In­dian In­dus­try (CII) jointly is or­gan­is­ing DE­F­COM, an an­nual sem­i­nar-cum-ex­po­si­tion. This year DE­F­COM 2012 will be or­gan­ised on Novem­ber 8-9 at the Manek­shaw Cen­tre, New Delhi for which the cur­tain-raiser event was or­gan­ised on July 27, 2012, where the brochure of the sem­i­nar was re­leased. The theme for this an­nual event has been aptly cho­sen as “Tac­ti­cal Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Sys­tems: ICTEC Chal­lenges and Op­por­tu­ni­ties”. The ob­jec­tive of the sem­i­nar is to en­able de­fence of­fi­cers, academia and the in­dus­try to un­der­stand user re­quire­ments and pro­pose be­fit­ting so­lu­tions for the tac­ti­cal bat­tle area (TBA). The sem­i­nar will be car­ried out in three tech­ni­cal and two work­shop ses­sions. The ses­sion on “Ro­bust Net­works for Tac­ti­cal Com­mu­ni­ca­tions” will fo­cus on the abil­ity of tac­ti­cal net­works to adapt to rapidly chang­ing con­di­tions. The ses­sion on “Sup­port­ing Net-cen­tric Op­er­a­tions through Wire­less Tech­nolo­gies” will com­pare con­straints in the cur­rent com­mer­cial 3G and 4G wire­less net­works with soft­ware de­fined ra­dio-based wire­less net­works ca­pa­ble of self-or­gan­is­ing them­selves for broad­band wire­less ac­cess in the TBA. The ses­sion on “Mit­i­gat­ing Se­cu­rity Threats in Tac­ti­cal Net­works” will dis­cuss mea­sures to make tac­ti­cal net­works se­cure and ro­bust. The ses­sion on “Hu­man Cap­i­tal Trans­for­ma­tion in ICTEC Era” will fo­cus on chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties in this field. It will also recog­nise the strengths of mil­i­tary veter­ans who are a valu­able, dis­ci­plined and trained force avail­able to the in­dus­try.

Lt Gen­eral S.P. Kochhar (cen­tre) re­leas­ing the brochure of DE­F­COM 2012

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