IACCCS Being Enhanced
The upgraded ADIZ will extend the IAF’s airspace management and surveillance coverage
By Prasun K. Sengupta

The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) layered, hardened and in-depth air defence command, control and communications network, called integrated air command, control and communications system (IACCCS), is all set to achieve full operational capability by 2012 once the IAF-owned, operated and managed fully secure and reliable network and gigabyte digital information grid — known as AFNet, is fully operationalised. The IACCCS has been designed as a robust, survivable network-centric C4I3 infrastructure that will receive direct real-time feeds from existing space-based overhead reconnaissance satellites, ground-based and aerostat-mounted ballistic missile early warning radars and high-altitude-long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles, and manned airborne early warning & control (AEW & C) platforms. The IACCCS will also coordinate the early warning and response aspects of a layered two-tier ballistic missile defence (BMD) network that is now in an advanced stage of development. The fibre-optic network-based AFNet, on the other hand, replaces the IAF’s troposcatter-based communications network. Developed at a cost of Rs 10.77 billion in collaboration with US-based Cisco Systems Inc, HCL Infosystems Ltd and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd ( BSNL), the AFNet incorporates the latest traffic transportation technology in form of internet protocol (IP) packets over the network using multi-protocol label switching (MPLS). A large voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) layer with stringent quality of service enforcement will facilitate robust, high quality voice, video and conferencing solutions. With these two critical elements now in place, the way ahead is now clear for plugging into the IACCCS a large    

number of new-generation ground-based radars that are now in the process of being delivered, be it for airspace surveillance in search of airborne targets (like manned aircraft, ballistic and cruise missiles, attack helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles), or coastal surveillance or ground surveillance.

For ensuring all-weather low- and medium-level airspace surveillance, the IAF by 2016 will be receiving 67 new low-level air transportable radars (LLTR) like the DRDO-developed and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL)-built the S-band Aslesha three-dimensional micro-radar and the Bharani manportable radar. The Aslesha, which weighs 250kg, uses low-probability-of-intercept frequencies to look out for terrain-hugging tactical UAVs over mountainous terrain out to 50km. The IAF has to date, ordered 21 of them, and first deliveries took place in January 2008. On the other hand, the Bharani is a two-dimensional L-band gapfiller system now in series-production for the army. It has a range of 40km and can track up to 100 airborne targets. The IAF is now gearing up to induct new-generation S-band long-range surveillance radars (LRSR), an additional nine ELTA Systems-built L-band EL/M-2083 ‘Airstar’ aerostat-mounted high-power radars (HPR) to add to the two already in service, 18 L-band EL/M-2082 ADAR 3-D active phased-array airspace surveillance radars medium-power radars (MPR) and 30 indigenous medium-range S-band Rohini 3-D central acquisition radars. For the LRSR requirement, a competition is presently between the ELTA Systems-built EL/-22818 AD-STAR, THALES-built Ground Master 400, and SELEX Sistemi Integrati’s RAT-31SL.

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