Digi­ti­sa­tion crit­i­cal to Army’s mod­erni­sa­tion pro­gramme

SP's MAI - - EDITOR’S DESK - Jayant Baran­wal Publisher & Ed­i­tor-in-Chief

The world over, ar­mies are un­der­go­ing mas­sive trans­for­ma­tion, dic­tated by new threats, asym­met­ric war­fare and rapidly chang­ing tech­nolo­gies. The trans­for­ma­tion is hap­pen­ing at a break­neck speed and a crit­i­cal com­po­nent of this rad­i­cal change is digi­ti­sa­tion of the bat­tle­field. The more digi­tised the army is go­ing to be, the more ef­fec­tive it will be. The In­dian Army is no ex­cep­tion in this global trans­for­ma­tion and it has rightly em­barked upon a mod­erni­sa­tion pro­gramme which will have the po­ten­tial to deal with war where bound­aries are not out­lined.

Un­der­stand­ing the im­por­tance of the mod­erni­sa­tion pro­gramme, we at SP Guide Pub­li­ca­tions have joined hands with the Cen­tre for Land War­fare Stud­ies (CLAWS) to or­gan­ise a sem­i­nar on ‘Digi­ti­sa­tion of the Bat­tle­field’, in New Delhi on Oc­to­ber 31.

Digi­ti­sa­tion is a crit­i­cal com­po­nent as it is the ap­pli­ca­tion of in­for­ma­tion tech­nolo­gies to ac­quire, ex­change, and em­ploy timely dig­i­tal in­for­ma­tion through­out the bat­tle space, tai­lored to the needs of each de­cider (com­man­der), shooter, and sup­porter—al­low­ing each to main­tain a clear and ac­cu­rate vi­sion of his bat­tle space nec­es­sary to sup­port both plan­ning and ex­e­cu­tion.

Ahead of the sem­i­nar, SP’s M.A.I. has lined up ar­ti­cles by Lt Gen­eral (Retd) P.C. Ka­toch, high­light­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion for the bat­tle­field man­age­ment sys­tem (BMS); com­mand, con­trol, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, com­put­ers, in­for­ma­tion and in­tel­li­gence (C4I2) sys­tems; ge­o­graphic in­for­ma­tion sys­tems (GIS) and net-cen­tric war­fare (NCW), all of which add up to a lethal com­bi­na­tion. While dis­cussing the key points of th­ese sys­tems, Lt Gen­eral Ka­toch has un­der­lined the ur­gency for In­dia to take up digi­ti­sa­tion of BMS as any de­lay would not only es­ca­late costs, but also leave the army in a dis­ad­van­ta­geous po­si­tion.

In his fort­nightly viewpoint, Lt Gen­eral (Retd) P.C. Ka­toch has wel­comed the de­ci­sion of the United States to list 10 de­fence tech­nolo­gies for trans­fer to In­dia, bring­ing In­dia into a small group of clos­est al­lies with which Amer­ica shares such sen­si­tive de­tails with­out ex­port con­trol. If cleared, it is es­ti­mated that the num­ber of such de­fence tech­nol­ogy trans­fers could cross 90.

Talk­ing about de­lays, in SP’s Ex­clu­sive we have out­lined how the medium multi-role com­bat air­craft (MMRCA) deal which was ap­proved 21 months ago is in a limbo, leav­ing the In­dian Air Force (IAF) wait­ing in the wings, so to say. With elec­tions round the cor­ner, there is not likely to be a de­ci­sion on seal­ing the deal. While that is on hold, the good news is that the IAF has re­ceived its fourth of 10 Boe­ing C-17 Globe­mas­ter III heavy-lift trans­port air­craft.

In this is­sue, we have a show re­port on AUSA 2013 (As­so­ci­a­tion of United States Army which was held in Wash­ing­ton from Oc­to­ber 21-23) wherein there is clam­our for tech­nolo­gies which are not only cost-ef­fec­tive but have multi-level of use, all driven by slashed de­fence ex­pen­di­ture, at least in the West.

We look for­ward to your par­tic­i­pa­tion in the sem­i­nar and also to your feed­back which will help us sharpen our cov­er­age of news and views.

Happy read­ing !

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