Wars are no longer fought at predefined battlefield. Battlefield have now become digitised and hence require flawless, uninterrupted and secure communication. This was the message that was conveyed by one and all at the recently held seminarcum- exhibition, Defcom India 2011. Organised by Integrated HQ of MoD (Army), Corps of Signals and CII, the theme of this year’s event was ‘Enabling ICT Infrastructure for Info Age Warfare’.
India’s Defence Minister AK Antony called upon the armed forces to forge strong partnerships with the industry and the academia to secure the goals of national security. In a message read out in absentia at the inauguration of the two-day event, Antony said this partnership is vital to increase the technology threshold of our defence forces. Similar views were echoed by Dr MM Pallam Raju, Minister of State for Defence, Government of India. “National security is not the prerogative of the armed forces alone, it is essential that the best minds in the country contribute to this worthy cause. Indian industry, academia and research and development organisations can offer definite contribution towards this effort,” he said. Pointing out that information superiority in today’s scenario directly translates into combat superiority, Dr Pallam Raju called for creating a responsive and agile ICT infrastructure. He said that the greatest challenge for armed forces is to transform to meet both current and future challenges.
Chief of Army Staff Gen VK Singh, Indian Army, said that the academia and the industry can help the armed forces leverage state-ofthe- art technologies in executing dedicated ICT networks. “With the focus of the battlefield shifting to a network-centric environment, it is imperative to augment our capabilities in the digital domain to maintain information superiority over our adversaries. Our information grid will be a potent force multiplier and will enable us to optimally use our weapon systems,” he said. Explaining the importance of information in future, Lt Gen SP Kochhar, Signal Officer-in-Chief and Senior Colonel Commandant, Corps of Signals, Integrated HQ of MoD (Army), said, “Any break in communication would mean loss of life which is not acceptable. Ensuring that a soldier always remains in touch with his command center is a must.”
Commodore KK Pandey, PDNS (Navy), raised a very interesting point when he said, “Knowledge is not power but dissemination of knowledge in real-time is power.,” adding, “War is now being fought at the speed of thought.” He also said that security and IT department should work closely in this age where speed is the essence of war-fighting.
Talking about challenges facing the armed forces towards attaining netcentricity, Maj Gen VP Shrivastava, said, “Information security, technology obsolescence, protection of information infrastructure are some of the major challenges that we need to address. Attempts have to be made to reduce the procurement time so that technology doesn’t become obsolete by the time we acquire them.”
The event also showcased an exhibition of both Indian and foreign companies.