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Army to get secure communication network for Rs 7,796 cr

The Cabinet Committee on Security has approved a proposal for a secure and better communication network for the Army at estimated cost of Rs 7,796 crore.

The move will enhance the network coverage in forwarding areas including at Line of Actual Control (LAC). It will boost the operational preparedness of the Army especially at the LAC, the Defence Ministry said in a press release.

The new Army Static Switched Communication Network (Ascon) was a long-pending demand of the Indian Army. "It is being implemented by the ITI, a public sector undertaking, at an estimated cost of Rs 7,796.39 crore,” the release said adding that the implementation schedule is of 36 months from the date of signing of the contract.

Further, with approximately 80 per cent indigenous content, the project will provide a boost to the Indian industry.

The project will upgrade the existing Asynchronous Transfer Mode Technology to Internet Protocol and Multi Protocol Label Switching Technology.

"Optical Fibre Cable (OFC), Microwave Radio and Satellite will be used as communication media," the release said.

The project will provide better survivability, responsiveness and high bandwidth in any operational scenario and enhance the communication coverage of the network closer to International Border, Line of Control and Line of Actual Control.

The network will extend the high bandwidth communication to the remote operational areas in Central and Eastern sectors and enhance communication reach to the forward locations in the Western borders too.

Thus, the project would augment the communication network of the Indian Army in the sensitive forward operational areas, which in turn will provide a major boost to the operational preparedness of the Indian Army, especially keeping in view the current operational situation along the LAC.

The project involves the execution of civil works, laying of OFC, tower construction, and with the utilization of local resources and hiring of manpower. It would generate employment opportunities, especially for the people in the remote border areas, support and boost rural economy, assist in uplift of the local economies, and provide skill development during the prolonged period of execution and maintenance of the network.

The project is also a big opportunity for the public sector to showcase its capability and provide an impetus to the Indian economy and will be a step in the direction of achieving the goal of Aatmanirbhar Bharat..