Defence Communication Network - Latest Developments

Communication is the backbone for the efficiency and effectiveness of any Armed Forces across the globe. In pursuit of achieving excellence in the domain, in May 2018, Government of India allocated more than Rs 24,664 crores to build the Optical Fibre Network (OFC). Hence to meet the watertight requirements of Indian Armed Forces Security Operations Centre will be established by a private player to meet the security requirements.

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Latest Defence Communication Network – Armed Forces Network (AFN) for Indian Armed Forces

  1. Indian military will receive an ultra-modern communication network named the Armed Forces Network (AFN).
  2. When AFN operationalises it will enable 414 bases of Indian Air Force, Indian Navy, and Indian Army to communicate and exchange data in a secure environment.
  3. Earlier the communication among Service Headquarters, Theatre Command Headquarter, Indian Air Force Force bases, Indian Navy bases, Indian Army Division commands, Brigade Headquarters etc were carried out using very old landlines, troposcatter links, and radios.
  4. As per news reports of April 2020, a new defence communication network contract has been awarded to Larsen & Toubro (L&T), which will be known as AFN.
  5. As part of this contract, an Optic Fibre Cable Network (OFC) will be laid to connect all the above-mentioned bases and divisions of Indian Armed Forces. The OFC network will be pan India and it will be a 60,000 Km long network.
  6. As of April 2020, BSNL has laid down a 57,000 Km long OFC network.
  7. Since many of the Indian Armed Forces bases are located in remote areas they would be connected with AFN using satellite links or microwave radio.

Significance of Defence Communication Network

  1. It will help the armed forces and the Special Forces Command to share situational awareness for a faster decision-making process. Hence, it will help in improving the prompt response time due to the integrated technology.
  2. It will ensure network centricity across the three services, Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) and the Strategic Forces Command (SFC).
  3. It will help in bolstering the prowess of the defence forces during critical operations and rescue missions.
  4. It acts as proof of the strength of the Indian industry. Initially, it was planned to import the system.
  5. With the indigenous development, it has reaffirmed the capability of the Indian industries and acts as a boost to the Make in India Programme.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Defence Communication Network

Q 1. What is a Defence Communication Network?

Ans. A strategic, highly secure and scalable system that has a pan-India reach and enable the army, air force, navy and the Special Forces Command to share situational awareness for a faster decision-making process is called the Defence communication Network.

Q 2. What is the need for a Defence Communication Network?

Ans. A Defence Communication Network is important for the overall security of the nation and the combined operations of the armed forces.

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