[ISN] Indian Air Force gets ready for cyber warfare
isn at c4i.org
Tue Jul 5 03:26:47 EDT 2005
By HUMA SIDDIQUI
July 04, 2005
NEW DELHI: Information warfare is an emerging area. It relates to
computer virus attacks, precision attacks on command and control nodes
and soft and hard skill capabilities to significantly degrade or
paralyse the information structure of the adversary.
"Although there is a chance of hackers doing some damage, they cannot
affect equipment because they have stand-alone computerised systems
integral to the weapon system and equipment. However, anything on a
network or dependent on satellite-based functioning can be affected,"
say officials in the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Exploitation of technologies by developed countries is bringing about
profound changes in the operational concept of warfare. Use of
satellites, high altitude aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs),
sensors and digital communications in high intensity conflicts have
brought in the new paradigm of information warfare. Countries that can
leverage cutting-edge technologies in the development of weapon
systems will have the strength to leapfrog obstacles they may
encounter during war.
Presently, the IAF is in the process of acquiring technology for
communications and computer networks. It plans to use a multi-sensor
command and control constellation (MC2C) based around the use of
radars, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), airborne warning and control
systems (AWACS), and aerostats.
"Of all the three forces, the Navy and Air Force take the cake when it
comes to IT implementation", say officials in the Army.
Agrees Air Commodore NK Chibber, secretary general, Pacific
Telecommunication Council (PTC) India Chapter, "Though we have still
not reached the stage being totally computerised, many of our air
systems are fully automated thanks to usage of IT." To counter such
attacks, many Indian agencies are working on IT-based defence systems.
The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing's (C-DAC) Networking
and Internet Software Group (NISG) at Pune is working on the
development of core network security technologies, which include
C-DAC's Virtual Private Network (C-VPN), a crypto package (C-Crypto)
and prototypes of e-commerce applications. Besides, DRDO has been
successful in integrating security mechanisms in the Army Radio
Engineering Network (AREN) and Army Static Switch Communication
Recently, a study team was formed at Air HQ which analysed various
communication needs of Air Force and proposed a solution which is
scalable, reliable and secure. The team interacted with user
directorates and command HQs to assess their bandwidth requirements.
Based on these interactions, the team proposed an architecture for IAF
Wide Area Network (WAN) project which is scalable and highly reliable
to meet both peace and wartime needs of IAF.
While India's defence forces are increasingly using IT, the pace of
IT-enablement definitely needs to be speeded up. And cooperation
between the private sector and the defence sector is a must,
especially when it comes to Indias software sector.
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