Indian Army with ISRO satellites finishes study on communication amid Russia-Ukraine war

  • Unlike the Indian Air Force or the Navy, Army does not have a dedicated satellite. The Army is likely to get its own satellited by December 2025

Livemint
First Published5 Aug 2022
The Indian Army is closely studying the war in Ukraine to derive communication technology-related lessons from it
The Indian Army is closely studying the war in Ukraine to derive communication technology-related lessons from it(HT_PRINT)

The Indian Army has completed its communication exercise by testing all of its space-based assets to ensure their operational readiness. The Indian Army is closely studying the war in Ukraine to derive communication technology-related lessons from it. According to the news agency PTI, the focus of the Army's study on the war is on "military communications and electronic warfare". The agency said that the Army learned a tactical communication system, which is operable in a hostile enemy area, with a suitable backhaul from the Russia-Ukraine war.

In a five-day-long exercise, the Army utilised the services of several satellites belonging to the Indian Space research organisation (ISRO).

The entire range of the Army's satellite communication assets was activated from July 25 to July 29 which was codenamed 'Skylight'.

The Indian Army has also completed a study on the communication, cyber and electromagnetic effects reported during the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

The Army tested static terminals, transportable vehicle-mounted terminals, man-portable and small form factor man-pack terminals during the exercise.

According to a report by the Hindustan Times, Livemints's sister publication, an Army official told the daily, "We have to leverage space capabilities for supporting a variety of military operations. The northern borders with China are a primary area of concern because of the challenges related to topography".

The daily said that complex aerospace technology has begun impacting military operations and communications, therefore it becomes crucial for the Army to build and refine its technical competence in the field of communications.

Unlike the Indian Air Force or the Navy, Army does not have a dedicated satellite. The Army is likely to get its own satellited by December 2025.

In March this year, the Defence Acquisition Council, the government’s top weapons procurement body, cleared an army proposal for a GSAT-7B satellite to boost its operational capabilities.

The GSAT-7 series of advanced satellites built by ISRO is designed to provide communication capabilities to users over vast expanses including oceans.

The Indian Army carried out a detailed study of cyber and electromagnetic warfare in the Russia-Ukraine war and established the efficacy of communication satellite systems like Starlink which can provide high-speed internet services to remote areas.

The Army is also focussing on leveraging quantum computing for improving information secrecy, and collaborating with the industry and academia to develop applications for communications and cryptography, HT said in its report.

Traditional cryptographic systems can now be completely cracked with quantum computers quickly.

The army is closely tracking advancements made by India’s adversaries in this field to ensure that it inducts vital capabilities in the short term.

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