Importance of situational awareness in combat

Importance of situational awareness in combat

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Situational Awareness(SA)’ or being aware of location is paramount in almost every sphere of life. One of the most important areas where situational awareness can lead to most effective decisions is ‘intelligence and security’.

According to Lt Gen KT Parnaik, PVSM, UYSM, YSM (Retd), Joint Managing Director, Rolta India Ltd, the concept of Situational Awareness in combat and its evolution from the Korean/Vietnam War can be equated with Observe & Orient Phases of OODA Loop. In today’s context, quick decision making based on enhanced Situational Awareness is the key to achieve predominance over the enemy’s OODA Loop. Quoting Clausewitz, Gen Parnaik highlights the need to adopt networked C4ISR systems for enhanced acquisition of situational awareness related to Terrain, Enemy and Own Forces.

GIS applications are capable of realistically presenting terrain in three dimensions with dynamic fly through, automated change detection etc. Firms like Rolta have developed Next Gen ISR Systems which provide high-resolution imaging, Photogrammetry and a high-end GIS platform.

Today a major share of information on the enemy is obtained through satellite imagery, UAVs or other ground-based sensors like LORROS etc. As a large volume of data from sensors requires large bandwidths on communication channels, it is imperative that extracted intelligence is transmitted rather than the raw data.

Rolta India has developed capabilities for sensor integration with a plethora of sensors, whether electro-optic, hyperspectral, SAR or LiDAR.  Rolta is actively engaged in developing a Data Fusion Engine enabling autonomous object identification as well as change detection.  The advanced algorithms will use AI to automatically identify, extract as well as represent common military objects and artefacts on digital maps to provide a complete “decision support system”, thereby disrupting the enemy’s OODA Loop and providing intuitive leads on enemy intent.  The Data Fusion Engine combines the best of the Big Data analysis, AI and the next generation ISR to provide a potent force multiplier to the Indian Defence Forces.

To achieve perfect SA of own forces, Gen KT Parnaik dwells on the need of networking and sharing of location and activities in real time.  The Battlefield Management System (BMS) developed by Rolta, provides the Common Operating Picture (COP) at the tactical level down to the Platoons/Company / Battalion level. Features like Blue Force Tracking and Real-time Situational Awareness (RTSA) are unique functionalities which are inherent features in the network scalable architecture that Rolta provides. Emphasizing the need to shift to a network-centric framework in the combat zone, Gen Parnaik believes that automation in data processing and interpretation is a sine quo non.

C4ISR is a force multiplier as it drives net-centricity, integrates the battlefield and provides RTSA. We feel just as Rolta stands poised to be a trusted partner in empowering  Indian Defence with the best in class systems, more and more firms should come in the forefront and take up the responsibility of developing high-end applications  that can make the Indian Defence more powerful and better equipped to fight the enemies for a safer and more peaceful India.

Inputs from Rolta India collected by Mahashreveta Choudhary 

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