Picture Indian army soldiers on the battlefront carrying indigenously developed handheld PCs called Sathi, constantly tracking each other’s positions and even jointly planning moves on the front as well as sharing details on maps with command headquarters. Sounds futuristic?
Well, a pilot project has already been implemented in J& K and the army is now extending the technology to other areas.
For the first time, Indian army has outsourced an R&D project to a private company instead of developing at DRDO. And there’s much more to the gadget over and above its desi appeal as other armies are believed to have evinced interest in the device. Indian army also explored other options like RPDA from Talla Tech used by the US army in Iraq but zeroed on the much cheaper and better integrated Sathi.
Developed by Encore, which designed India’s first handheld computer, Sathi is an integrated battle computer with GPS and radio, customised GIS – a navigational tool displaying military maps and location of other devices – and enabling field sketches with a customised symbol library for map marking.
Weighing 875 gm, it can easily fit into a soldier’s palm and also has a remotely operated self-destruction and activation feature for preventing misuse by unauthorized persons.
Been developed exclusively for the Indian army initially, Sathi can now be sold to other armies too. Its developers at Encore claim that they are already in preliminary talks with many armies around the world. Encore also claims that this is the first army project to be developed from conception to product stage in less than two years.