Defence Communication Network

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 19, 2022, 17:15

The Defence Communication Network is India's first tactical and exclusive communication network allowing the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, and Special Forces Command to share situational awareness to implement a smooth and quicker decision-making process. It was launched in May 2018 by the Union Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar. The minister believes it would be a great opportunity for the public sector, especially the IT industry, to showcase its capabilities and provide a boost to the Indian economy, moving one step closer to the dream of Atmanirbhar Bharat. The government of India allocated more than Rs 24,000 crores to build this defence communication network.

The network has been strategically planned with a pan India reach from Ladakh to Northeast regions to all island regions. It also includes regions along the Line of Control and the international border of Pakistan. All the forces have their separate communication lines, but this is the first time they share a common communication network for better coordination and security.

Defence Communication Network Operations

  • Larsen & Toubro (L&T) was awarded the contract to build the defence communication network, known as the Armed Forces Network (AFN).
  • Out of the total sum allocated for the project, L&T won Rs. 2,700 crore order.
  • L&T employed the Next Generation Operation Support System (NGOSS) to ensure the network runs optimally and securely.
  • The Armed Forces Network is also part of the Network for Spectrum arrangement in which the military has given 40 megahertz of spectrum to the Department of Telecommunications.
  • A data centre infrastructure will also be responsible for networking, routing, and firewalling the defence communication network.
  • An optic fibre cable has been laid out to connect all the 414 bases and headquarters part of the defence communication network.
  • The optic fibre cable network is estimated to be 60,000 km long.
  • 57,000 km of the fibre cable network was laid by Bharat Sanchar Nigam, including optical cabling and transmission and routing backbone.
  • Since many armed forces bases are in remote regions of the country, the network is built using both terrestrial and satellite modes of communication.
  • A part of the network is also designed by HCL Infosystems, which has worked with the Indian Airforce to create the Air Force Network (AFNet).
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Ultra-Modern Defence Communication Network Significance

  • The defence communication network will securely connect networks across the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, and Special Forces Command.
  • This will prompt faster decision-making along with minimizing the reaction time.
  • It will significantly strengthen the competency of all the defence forces cumulatively during critical operations.
  • The defence communication network will also deliver improved survivability and high bandwidth during operation scenarios.
  • Its indigenous development has strengthened everyone's faith in Indian industries, especially the IT sector.

Although it is an ambitious project that can prove to be greatly efficient upon successful completion, it faces some problems. For instance, currently, the communication channel between all the armed forces is slightly interoperable, but still, they do not communicate with each other as often as they should. Hence, it would be a challenge to get them to use the defence communication network to the fullest of its capabilities. Additionally, it would be another challenge to face the cost and time issues that may come up, making the network sub-optimal. However, the hope is that the Defence Communication Network turns out to be a great step towards improving India's defence system.

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FAQs on Defence Communication Network

Q.1. What is the Defence Communication Network?

The Defence Communication Network is a singular, highly secure, and scalable pan India network that will efficiently connect all the armed defence forces.

Q.2. Why is there a need for a Defence Communication Network?

A secure Defence Communication Network would provide defence services with the chance of quick decision-making and would also improve the overall security of the nation.

Q.3. Who funded the Defence Communication Network?

The government of India funded the Defence Communication Network.

Q.4. When was the Defence Communication Network project launched?

The Defence Communication Network project was launched in 2018.