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Indian Army focuses on network centric warfare

Tuesday, 25 May 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India might have become an IT superpower but the benefits of this are yet to percolate to the armed forces, which will increasingly need to focus on technology in the digitalised battlefields of the future.

"Network centric warfare will be the backbone of combat in the digitised battlefield. In fact, network centric warfare is to warfare what e-business is to business," a senior Indian Army officer said Tuesday.

Lt. Gen. Davinder Singh,
Signal-officer-in-Chief at Army Headquarters, was speaking at a seminar here on Infostructure for Network Centric Warfare. It was jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and Army Headquarters.

"The road ahead is pretty long. The developed world has gone far ahead," cautioned the army chief, Gen. N.C. Vij, pointing to the US campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This posed a tremendous challenge for industry to develop indigenous capacity because "we don't want to be dependent on someone's goodwill", Vij added.

Network centric warfare is about maintaining information superiority on the battlefield - defeating or deterring the enemy by getting the right information to the right place, in the right format, at the right level of precision and accuracy and at the right time.

Experts point out that this fusion of information was what made all the difference during the operations in Afghanistan and in the first phase of the Iraq war.

Network centric warfare, Davinder Singh noted, was "a product of the convergence of computers and communications".

It could enhance combat power by networking the intelligence gathering apparatus, the decision makers and the battlefield commanders to ensure the optimum deployment of soldiers and equipment, he added.

"In essence, the power of network centric warfare is derived from an effective network of networks. Mission effectiveness can be dramatically increased by robustly networking a force to improve information sharing and situational awareness.

"This demands a seamless integration of strategic and tactical networks," Singh said.

"What we are aiming at is a dramatic improvement in command and control capabilities on the battlefield," he added.

Source: IANS
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