IAF set to become a net-centric combat force

The IAF is all set to kickstarting Air Force Network (AFNET) for faster response to enemy threats.

Last Updated: Sep 08, 2010, 17:04 PM IST

New Delhi: The IAF is all set to boost its
network centric warfare capability by kickstarting Air Force
Network (AFNET), a reliable digital information grid that
enables accurate and faster response to enemy threats, on
September 14.

The modern, state-of-the-art AFNET will be a fully secure
network, making IAF a true net-centric combat force and the
first among the three services to complete interlinking major
installations throughout the country on a high bandwidth
network, an IAF spokesperson said in a press release here
Wednesday.

The AFNET will replace the IAF`s old communication
network set-up using the tropo-scatter technology of the
1950s.

"This monumental achievement also marks the successful
clearance of one milestone for release of radio spectrum, a
very valuable but finite resource," the spokespeson said.

Defence Minister A K Antony will launch the AFNET
services in the capital in the presence of Telecom Minister A
Raja, he said.

The IAF project is part of the overall mission to network
all three services. The mission comes in the backdrop of an
Information Technology Roadmap document of the Defence
Ministry stipulating automation, simulated training and
mandatory computer proficiency in the services.

"IAF has taken up a mandate to create and maintain an
assured, dedicated, secure and inter-operable communication
network along with associated services to provide real time,
instantaneous transfer of information between Sensors, Command
and Control (C2) centres and Shooters," the release said.

In addition, IAF aspires to use communication network and
IT-enabled infrastructure for all other operational,
techno-logistics and administrative functions to leverage
development in this field to enhance efficiency,
cost-effectiveness and ease of administration, it said.

The spokesperson said all major formations and static
establishments had been linked through a secure Wide Area
Network (WAN) and were accessible through data communication
lines.

The nationwide programme was launched by the IAF in
collaboration with the private industry to accelerate the use
of Information Technology (IT) as well as to link all field
units using a dedicated satellite.

"AFNET incorporates the latest traffic transportation
technology in form of IP (Internet Protocol) packets over the
network using Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS). A large
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) layer with stringent
quality of service enforcement will facilitate robust, high
quality voice, video and conferencing solutions," he said.

The Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS), an
automated command and control system for Air Defence (AD)
operations, will ride the AFNET backbone integrating all
ground-based and airborne sensors, AD weapon systems and C2
nodes.

Subsequent integration with other services networks and
civil radars would provide an integrated Air Situation Picture
to operators to carry out AD role.

AFNET will be an effective force multiplier for
intelligence analysis, mission planning and control,
post-mission feedback and related activities like maintenance,
logistics and administration, the spokesperson said.

A comprehensive design with multi-layer security
precautions for `Defence in Depth` have been planned by
incorporating encryption technologies, Intrusion Prevention
Systems to ensure the resistance of the IT system against
information manipulation and eavesdropping, he said.

PTI