Indian Army Embraces Digital Technology

by Sonal Desai    Jul 06, 2009

Keeping pace with global defence establishments, the Indian Army is also embracing digital technology. 

As is known, security forces rely on radio communication for coordination and operations. They currently operate with high frequency, very high frequency and ultra-high frequency for voice communications. However, with advancing technology and rapid improvements in digitization, data transfer rates, modulation, and the traditional radio sets are becoming obsolete, and are being replaced with IP radios. 

The Indian Army is scouting IP radio for providing end-to-end radio communication on IP technology. Each IP radio, which will function as a relay within a network, will enable multi-point connectivity in the digitized battlefield. 

For security reasons, the radio will have built-in SAG-approved secrecy. The secrecy algorithm will not be ported ex-factory and the same will be ported by user at his premises. The programming of crypto keys and frequency-hopping parameters will be manned by computers. 

The IP radio will be able to establish a Mobile Ad hoc Networks (Manets), while the complete network or partial network is on the move. It will also enable selective calling and late entry to the network. Each station will be able to independently assume control of the network, and routing information, among other things. However, the maximum number of radio stations in a single MANET - mechanisms to connect two or more Manets - is yet to be made specific. 

The army has also floated requests for proposal to procure Flight Monitoring System (FMS) to monitor and record critical engine, airframe, transmission system, main and tail rotor systems and flight data in helicopters. It will be installed on Cheetah Helicopters of army aviation for health and usage monitoring. The army aviation units will be equipped with compact and rugged tactical meteorological system. 

The army is also in need of a multi-sensor for helicopter-mounted surveillance systems. The systems will have features such as laser payloads, high resolution TV camera, forward looking Infra Red (FLIR), thermal imagers, etc.; video tracking, among others.

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