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Posted at: Sep 23, 2015, 9:15 PM; last updated: Sep 23, 2015, 9:15 PM (IST)

Govt okays technological leap for IAF

Govt okays technological leap for IAF
AWACS lands at a forward base. A Tribune file photo

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 23     

In a technological leap for the Indian Air Force, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Tuesday okayed an integrated network for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The network, a mix of surveillance platforms, integrates the ability to use data and images in real time across many battlefields. At the heart of this will be the pan-India integrated air command, control and communications system (IACCCS). The CCS approved the last leg of integrating the nodes of the IACCS and soon it will cover the air space over the entire country and island territories by integrating all resoures.

This is an IAF-owned, operated, fully secure, reliable network that will use the AF-Net an optic-fibre based network created in collaboration with US-based Cisco Systems, HCL Infosystems Ltd and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited.

The IACCS, by using the AFNet, will receive at a central place, direct real-time feeds from existing space-based overhead reconnaissance satellites, ground-based and aerostat-mounted ballistic missile early warning radars and high-altitude-long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles, and manned airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) platforms.

A quick transfer of data will mean real-time transportation of images, data and voice from satellites, aircraft and ground stations to battlefield commanders. It will also help in early warning and response aspects of a layered two-tier ballistic missile defence (BMD) network that is now under development by DRDO.

For the IACCCS to be successful, gathering of surveillance and sending it to a central control room is key.

The IAF now has all-weather low- and medium-level airspace surveillance for this 67 new low-level air transportable radars (LLTR) are being added in phases. New -generation S-band long-range surveillance radars (LRSR)  will be mated with the IACCCS and IAF now has 11 of the Israel’s ELTA -built L-band ‘Airstar’ aerostat-mounted high-power radars (HPR).

Also the added advantage will be the integration of Airborne Warning & Control Systems (AWACS) aircraft — a rotodome platform from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) fitted onto the Russian transporter the IL-76. The plane, once airborne, can beam in pictures and videos of any troop build up or aircraft movement besides  being able to pick up airborne threats 1000 kms  away.

Three such planes have been delivered; two more are in the pipeline and the IAF wants another five. The software of the onboard systems has already been mated to the IACCS as well as other aircraft and  aerostats. The IACCS will also be mated with aerial reconnaissance pods procured from Israel.

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