India readies for future warfare

“When nations start a war, a country with better technology will win,” said Indian Defense Minister Rajnat Singh. said in 2019, and perhaps taking advantage of this, the country ‘s defense planners begin their next – generation modernization program in an effort to be ready for the future.

The transforming geopolitical landscape is preparing the world for future wars that will be fought less with the bullet than with cyber technology, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, quantum computing, augmented and virtual reality, robotics, big data analysis, unmanned drones. , small satellite constellations for 5G and 6G telecommunications, information gathering, 3D printing, nanomaterials and human augmentation devices.

Multi-domain or inter-domain operations will involve centaur teams, where people will connect to machines to optimize the work of both. These teams of people and machines will use AI for military applications that will transform battlefield decision making.

The Indian Armed Forces’ demand for just such a “connected” soldier can be met by a public-private partnership in the Public Sector Government Defense Enterprises (DPSU) program between Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Hyderabad’s Grede Robotics, a private niche sector player in artificial intelligence and robotics, which are jointly developing an advanced portable human surface-to-air missile.

The key to its effectiveness is an “autonomous MANPAD data link” that allows commanders to give real-time orders to shoot a soldier in front using robotic augmented reality and virtual reality, says Grene Robotics director Gopi Krishna Reddy.

Abhishek Verma, Partner and Head of Aerospace and Defense Infrastructure at KPMG India, believes that while the private sector is undergoing local defense production, DPSUs seconded by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) will be essential importance for the development of cutting-edge technology for the Indian Armed Forces through its 52 laboratories.

India has long been a leading importer of arms and has increased its purchases since the outbreak of clashes on the border with China last year.

There is now an impetus to balance this over-reliance on foreign technology by investing in home-developed technologies. To make the armed forces ready for the future, the Indian government has lifted budgetary constraints on capability development and other requirements. The Ministry of Defense has also opened the defense sector to private companies, both Indian and global, by raising the foreign direct investment limit from 49% to 74%.

Research and development is being carried out at the highest level to equip India with local technologies for future wars, and much of this vital work has been done by private sector companies that have immersed significant capital in defense production.

Faced with hostility from both China and Pakistan, India is under pressure to prepare for war on two fronts. The military hierarchy is placing increasing emphasis on digital technologies to support network-oriented warfare and on destructive technologies.

Indian Integrated Defense Staff officials say it is imperative to step up R&D while addressing technology gaps and opportunities with local equipment that can replace imports. The organization integrates policy, doctrine, hostilities and public procurement.

The use of AI is largely managed by the DRDO Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), whose mission is to develop security solutions and a set of C4I2SR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, information, surveillance and intelligence) .

The Indian Army is focusing on improving its C4I2SR capabilities, while keeping in mind the need for interoperability between the three services. As future operations will inevitably be joint, interoperability is a key goal of the newly created Military Affairs Unit, which will form theater teams.

BEL and CAIR are developing a system for artillery combat, command and control, while BEL, Electronics Corporation in India and CMC of Tata Group are creating a tactical system for command, control, communication and information for field formations and ground projects for electronic warfare. .

The Ministry of Defense recently ordered from BEL four-channel multi-mode and multi-band ship radio equipment, known as a software-defined radio tactical system, developed in partnership with the DRDO defense electronics laboratory. The system supports simultaneous operation of all very high and ultra-high frequency and low band channels.

Other programs approaching development include Swathi localized artillery missile radar, an integrated naval airport security system, a BEL battlefield monitoring system for high-altitude operations, and an integrated underwater sonar system USHUS- designed by DRDO. 2.

There is also DRDO’s central Rohini 3D acquisition radar for use with the Indian Akash ground-to-air missile, which is capable of tracking 150 targets, the Maareech guidance system for the Indian heavy torpedo Varunastra, and the Monopulse secondary surveillance radar. and a DRDO ship-to-shore communication system. The Mahindra Defense Systems and Telephonics Corporation joint venture manufactures the RDR series of airborne air radars.

It is a great effort to prepare the nation for an increasingly uncertain strategic environment.