Sunday, January 23, 2011

IAF now on the glide path for network-centric operations

IAF is now moving towards bolstering its network-centric warfare capabilities, with multi-sensor tracking and data fusion ensuring "a filtered and composite real-time air situation picture'' at one central place to ensure swifter and cohesive combat operations.

"There is a pilot project underway for network centric operations (NCO), which will be completed in a few months. It will be followed by large-scale transformation of the entire force over the next five to six years,'' said assistant chief of air staff (operations & space), Air Vice Marshal M Matheswaran on Friday.

This comes shortly after IAF made its state-of-the-art digital information grid AFNET (air force network) operational last year. Linking all major IAF formations and static establishments through a secure wide-area network (WAN), AFNET will accelerate the use of information technology as well as link all field units through a dedicated satellite.

In fact, the IAF will showcase its NCO capabilities during the Republic Day parade this year. As for the flypast, IAF is deploying 28 aircraft for it this year, which includes three Sukhoi-30MKIs, five MiG-29s and five Jaguars.

"The flypast will be in two phases, with four Mi-17 1V helicopters trooping the national Tricolour and the ensigns of the three Services at the start of the parade,'' said an officer.

"The second phase will be at the end of the parade with waves of formation of Mi-25 attack helicopters, a transport aircraft `big boy' formation and then the fighter jets. A `vertical charlie' manoeuvre by a single Sukhoi spiralling upwards will signal the close of the proceedings,'' he added.

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