IAF unveils dedicated info grid

IAF unveils dedicated info grid

The communication backbone, AFNET, would  also come handy in the future to integrate IAF squadrons and bases with its own satellite as and when the satellite is put into the orbit. Though all the services are likely to have their own satellites in another 10-12 years time, the naval satellite is in an advanced stage of realisation. Aiming for the space for strategic reason, IAF, for the time being, plans to hire transponders on the naval satellite, which would be connected to the new communication backbone.

Defence minister A K Antony and communications minister A Raja were given a demonstration of the network’s capability when a practice interception of simulated enemy targets by a pair of MIG-29 fighters airborne from a base in Punjab neutralising intruders in the western sector was played out live on the giant screens at the Air Force auditorium here. Other uses of AFNET will be streaming in of video feed from UAV; sending of pictures from Phalcon airborne early warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft to the decision-makers on ground sitting hundreds of kilometres away and providing intelligence inputs from far-flung areas at central locations seamlessly.

The Rs 1077 crore network will replace the IAF's 1950 network. Besides internet protocol and satellite communications, the optical fibre cable based network will support line of sight radio links for metro cities and difficult terrains.

The AFNET is a result of an IT roadmap being followed by the defence ministry. While all three services are engaged in large scale automation and computer-based networking, IAF is the first to complete the project of interlinking major installations throughout the country on a high bandwidth network. “This will help field units train and develop tactics, techniques and procedures to realise the full benefits of network-enabled capabilities,” said IAF Chief P V Naik.

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