Delhi : Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has said, as the tactical domain is extremely fragile, with rapid mobility in a hostile and dynamic environment, modern day communication tools have reduced the gap between strategic, operational and tactical domains. Inaugurating the two-day International Seminar and Exposition Defcom India-2012 in New Delhi, today, he said the single biggest challenge facing societies and nations is the vulnerability of communication and network devices to attacks, or threats in the electronic, cyber as well as the physical domain. Shri Antony said that over the last few years, some progress has been made in developing a Tactical Communication System. It is an ideal opportunity for the Indian industry and Research & Development (R&D) organisations to come forward and provide latest solutions to the challenges being faced in Tactical Communication. The traditional knowledge and wisdom inherent in Indian culture, as well as software skills must be blended with manufacturing abilities to get the best results, he added.
Shri Antony said that various committees and joint interest groups have been formed in an effort to build futuristic and indigenous solutions to communication challenges. However, he said this is only a starting point and a lot more needs to be done. Initiatives taken today will surely empower the nation further in the field of information technology, communication, electronics and cyber security, the minister said.
Chief of Army Staff General Bikram Singh, in his address, said that the guiding objective is to achieve self-reliance and technical sovereignty in TCS through indigenization of designs and standards. He said that while there are challenges in realizing the objective, the army, industry and academia should indeed look at the emerging opportunities in the ICTEC domain.
General Singh said the Tactical Communications Network has to be dynamic and resilient with multiple redundancies. While the transition to the TCS environment will be gradual, it is important that the soldier in the battle space does not have to deal with multiple communication devices. Instead, what is required are multiple RF equipped devices. Due efforts are needed to create a mobile communications umbrella for the entire forces, he said, adding that the overall aim should be to develop reliable, mobile, high-speed convergence networks that are inter-operable with even legacy systems and function in a joint services environment.
Lt. Gen. SP Kochchar, Signal Officer in Chief, in his address, said that the challenge of developing TCS lies in communication reaching the war fighter. Stating that the Corp of Signals is the second largest network provider in the country and the third largest telecom service provider, he said that major successes have been achieved in the development of TCS over the last one year. There is focused attention on Network For Spectrum (NFS) among others.
Lt. Gen. Kochchar said the way forward lies in migrating to the IP network. On a broader plane, he said that as ‘off-the-shelf’ technologies are not readily available in the TCS space, the aim is to develop an Indian model that also ensures India’s technical sovereignty.
Shri Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in his welcome address, said that Indian industry sees a major role in building the manufacturing and technological capabilities needed to support the modernization of the army’s tactical communications environment. Underlining the need for further simplification of the defence acquisition procedures, he said that both domestic and global firms look to play a greater role in the modernization endeavour and building of military technology capabilities. He added that a collaborative approach will deliver the desired results.
Mr Banerjee highlighted the need for setting up a defence electronics commission for enhancing the country’s defence electronics capabilities. He said that India’s IT and automobile industry experiences could be replicated in the defence environment.
Lt. Gen. P P S Bhandari, Chairman, CII Defence Electronic Committee also addressed the gathering.
The Defcom-2012 is being organized jointly by the Integrated HQ of Ministry of Defence (Army), Corp of Defence Signals and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).