Friday, October 23, 2009

Satellite to connect Indian Navy warships

A move that will place the Indian Navy in league with leading navies of the world, the government has started a project that entails inter-connection of weapons on board all its warships. In the first phase, 20 warships have been selected and work has begun.

This is aimed at achieving awareness of the maritime domain and network-centric operations. A leading public sector organisation with a good reputation in telecom solutions is carrying out the task. Sources confirmed that weapons on board 20 such warships are to be interconnected and the new aircraft carrier will also be on this list. Only the US and select NATO countries have such systems on board their ships.

The technology, called asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), allows high rate of data transfer that enables the captain of the ship to “communicate” digitally with weapon systems operators on various decks. Scientists at the Kochi-based Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) had been aiming at having such a technology on board ships for the past few years.

Separately, the Indian Defence Ministry today announced that a Naval communication satellite would be launched next year. This is aimed at improving connectivity at sea, said Defence Minister AK Antony as he addressed senior commanders of the Navy here today at a closed-door meeting. Selective details of the meeting were released by the Defence spokesperson here today. Navy would be the first among the three services to have a satellite of its own.

Latter in the evening an official explained this saying the satellite will be geo-stationary and will keep round-the clock eye on the seas where India has interest.

At the meeting with commanders, Antony did not forget to emphasise the coastal security aspect. The Navy is working out standard operating procedures (SOPs) with other stakeholders to tackle 26/11 type terror threats from the sea.

At the meeting, Naval chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said the acquisition plans of the Navy would have to give added impetus to maintenance and upgradation of the existing assets to ensure high readiness. The Admiral also discussed some administrative points like movements of officers and men on temporary duty..


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