Advanced Network Centric solutions for Indian Armed Forces #Hindustan360

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With the demand, desire and need of comprehensive vision for capacity building in a digitised battlefield, formulated together by all the stake holders. View more at #Hindustan360.

Net-centricity is all about “information” through all its stages, namely collection, storage, processing and dissemination to bring about informed decision making, synergy, maximum effects, speed in execution while ensuring extensive battlefield transparency. It also encompasses Information denial, perception management through the exploitation of electronic and print media and social networking. It creates efficiency, economy of force and facilitates operations across the full spectrum of warfare; nuclear to asymmetric and strategic to tactical and involves all organs of the Government from the very beginning.

It is technology intensive with Information and Communication Technology (ICT), communication networks and media as the nuclei. While the principals of war and the need for net centricity have not changed, the parameters have changed drastically. Net Centric capability pre-supposes a strong political will and the availability of a Doctrine, Technology, Organization transformation synergy, skills and assured budgetary support.Typically, a Digitized Battlefield will be shaped in accordance with the National Doctrine and would remain a, “work in progress” due to the rapid march of technology and consequent impact on the conduct of warfare.

India’s Security Landscape

India is located in the some of the world’s most unstable regions because of the never ending war against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Unresolved territorial and boundary disputes with China and Pakistan and China’s unprecedented economic and military growth.

Central to this preparation would beour national security doctrine supported by enhancement of our Net Centricity through advanced technological, organizational, training and related capabilities in all dimensions of land, air, sea, space and cyber space across full spectrum of warfare.

The Indian Scenario

Unfortunately the efforts towards net centricity have been poor at best. Consequently, they lack effectiveness and synergy. Our Commanders and policy makers largely continue to be technology shy and prefer to operate in their comfort zone of industrial warfare era of tanks and guns. They still seem to be fighting the last war as is quite evident from the recent two articles on “Modernisation of Defence Forces” in a reputed defence magazine on the eve of the Army Day.

What We Need to Do

The Government had ordered a number of studies by eminent people between 1999 and 2013 with a view to have a cohesive and practical civil-military framework at the core of the Government; increase the effectiveness of the Armed Forces, DRDO and establishment of a viable Defence Industrial Base; their recommendations, though many in common, have yet to be implemented.These suitably updated should provide the basis of our working on the Advanced Network Centric Solutions for our Armed Forces.

National Security Doctrine

It is ironical that despite the fact that India has seen four wars with Pakistan and one with China; five decades of insurgency in the Northeast and the ongoing insurgency in the Kashmir Valley which is over two decades old; and successful termination of insurgency in Punjab; that we still have not been able to evolve a national security doctrine. While the Armed Forces have issued their respective Service doctrines, and a Joint Warfare doctrine; these lack the political backing, direction, macro level policy framework and consequently the much needed synergy. India has a well-articulated and declared nuclear doctrine. We need to pronounce the national security doctrine without any further delay,duly approved by the Parliament and reviewed every five years. Further, in view of the changing and evolving security scenario, India needs to announce the Cyber security, limited warfare and asymmetric warfare doctrines with the same urgency.

Battle Field Transparency

With the battlefield transparency as high as 90 per cent, we need to conduct the warfare in an entirely different manner. While camouflage and concealment will always be important; greater emphasis will be on Deception, Dispersal, Mobility and Organization Transformation. Decision making will have to be very quick in an environment of information overload.

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