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    Future Wars Will Be Fought In Cyber Domain, Says Army Chief

    Army Chief General Bipin Rawat today said there is a need to focus on incorporating Artificial Intelligence and big data computing into the armed forces’ system.

    Future Wars Will Be Fought In Cyber Domain, Says Army Chief

    Army Chief General Bipin Rawat says it is time to focus on AI and Big Data Analytics. (File)

    HYDERABAD: 

    Army Chief General Bipin Rawat today said there is a need to focus on incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data computing into the armed forces’ system, saying the northern adversary of the country (China) is spending “huge money” on this technology.

    Addressing the valedictory function of the National Conference on “Self Reliance in Defence Manufacturing” in Hyderabad, he said rapid advances in technology necessitated incorporation of the industrial sector into defence manufacturing.

    “Apart from guns and rifles, we will see lot of non-contact warfare happening. Future wars are going to be fought in cyber domain,” he said.

    It is important to start understanding the relevance of AI and Big Data computing and how to incorporate this into the defence system, he said.

    “Our adversary on the northern border (China) is spending huge amounts of money on Artificial Intelligence and cyber warfare. We cannot be left behind. It is time for us to also focus on AI and on Big Data Analytics rather than just keeping it confined to mere definitions,” the army chief said.

    He said the defence forces needed equipment that were capable of deep viewing adversaries’ territories. “This equipment could either be based on satellites… which fortunately we have some but are not adequate to keep continuous surveillance and other means like drones, unarmed vehicles, remotely piloted vehicles.. this is the need of the hour.”

    There is a need for a battle field management system, which would enable the commander to incorporate and integrate all the information that was available and hence, technology becomes very important, he added.

    Noting that the Centre was opening two Defence industrial corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, he said: “Rather than becoming an import industry we should become export oriented based on case-to-case because we do not want our technology to fall into our adversaries’ hands.”

    He said there are some countries willing to share technology with India and the industry needs to partner with some of the foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers and see how best they incorporate technology and “we get manufacturing within our country.”

    Emphasising the importance of preparedness for future dimensions of warfare, General Rawat said the Indian armed forces have to be prepared whether it was defence of borders, combating proxy wars, terrorism, insurgencies or other internal security disturbances.

    “We have to understand that we have disputed land borders on our northern frontiers, partially unsettled borders on our western sector. So, we don’t see peace on the horizon anywhere in the near future.”

    5 COMMENTS

    The armed forces have to be ever prepared by imbibing new technologies, keeping pace with the advancements in warfare, he said.


    Indian Army plans to buy over 3,000 anti-tank guided missiles from France

    Indian Army plans to buy over 3,000 anti-tank guided missiles from France

    It is expected that the deal would be worth over Rs 1,000 crore.

    NEW DELHI: In an apparent effort to bolster its infantry units against the tank regiments of the enemy nations, the Indian Army is planning to buy more than 3,000 Milan 2T anti-tank guided missiles from France.

    It is expected that the deal would be worth over Rs 1,000 crore.

    “An Army proposal in this regard would come up for discussion at a high-level meeting of the Defence Ministry for buying more than 3,000 of the second-generation Milan 2T ATGMs which are license-produced by the Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) in partnership with a French firm,” sources in the Defence Ministry told ANI.

    ndian Army requires around 70,000 anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) of various types and around 850 launchers of different types. The Indian Army is planning to procure third-generation ATGMs with a longer range than that of its existing Milan-2T and Konkurs ATGMs.

    Sources told ANI that the Army’s decision to procure Milan 2T ATGMs should be seen as a stopgap arrangement as the Army is more focused on including its homegrown third-generation ATGM in its arsenal. It is to be noted that the third-generation ATGM is currently undergoing trials.

    Last year, the government had decided to scrap a programme to buy the Spike ATGM from Israel keeping in mind the development made by Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in this regard. The DRDO has already conducted two successful trials of the man-portable ATGMs.


    Cell phones, weapons seized from militants in Jammu jail Call records of inmates under scrutiny; more recoveries likely: Police

    Cell phones, weapons seized from militants in Jammu jail

    Photo for representational purpose only

    Arteev Sharma

    Tribune News Service

    Jammu, January 21

    A day after the recovery of mobile phones, sharp-edged weapons and deep freezers from the high-security Kot Bhalwal jail here, security agencies have started scrutinising the call details made from the premises “to break the nexus between prisoners, including militants, and prison staff”.

    “We are analysing the details of phone calls made from the seized mobile phones through their IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) numbers as we are yet to find the SIM cards. We are hopeful of getting vital clues. It is premature to comment as who brought and provided the phones to prisoners,” a senior police officer, who was part of the search operation, told The Tribune.

    He, however, did not rule out the possibility of presence of more mobile phones and other incriminating material inside the jail.

    “There is no record of the last search operation conducted inside the jail. The authorities had noticed suspicious activity inside the prison about four months back and wrote to DGP Dilbag Singh, who is also DGP (Prisons), for necessary action,” a source said, adding that “security agencies were planning to conduct a search operation since then”.

    On Sunday, the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the J&K Police and the Kot Bhalwal jail authorities conducted a joint search operation on the prison premises and recovered two mobile telephones, five pen drives, sharp-edged weapons, LPG cylinders, stoves, cooking material, deep freezers and several other incriminating items from the militants lodged there.

    Daylong searches were carried out by around 300 men from 15 teams of the SOG, Jammu rural police, prison staff and some NGOs. The high-security prison, where the UN-designated terrorist, Masood Azhar, was once detained, currently has 510 prisoners, including 13 Pakistani and 170 local militants, stone throwers and detainees under the Public Safety Act.

    “We cannot rule out the involvement of the jail staff in providing these facilities to militants and other hardcore criminals in the prison. We are investigating their role. Meanwhile, searches on the jail premises will continue until all incriminating items are seized. However, we are not sure as to how many more mobile phones are still there inside the jail,” another senior police officer said, adding that “clarity on prisoners’ contact with militant groups outside the jail will be established soon”.

    In February 2018, the Centre had asked the J&K Government to fully review the security measures inside jails and transportation of inmates after a Pakistan militant, Naved Jatt, who was recently killed in an encounter in south Kashmir, managed to escape.


    SOG men carry out search

    • The Special Operations Group (SOG) of the J&K Police and the Kot Bhalwal jail authorities on Sunday conducted a joint search operation at the Kot Bhalwal jail
    • It recovered two cell phones, five pen drives, sharp-edged weapons, LPG cylinders, stoves, food items and deep freezers from militants lodged in the prison

    Prison staff’s role to be probed

    “We cannot rule out the involvement of the jail staff in providing these facilities to militants and other hardcore criminals in the prison. We are investigating their role.” —Senior police officer 

     


    India steps up defence diplomacy, offers CSRS to more countries

    Smita Sharma
    Tribune News Service
    New Delhi, January 21

    India is expanding its Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) and offering the Coastal Surveillance Radar Technology (CSRS) to several countries as it increases its defence diplomacy.

    The radar surveillance that was conceived post the 2008 Mumbai attacks to strengthen coastal security through electronically transmitted data and integrated stations has been now offered to some additional 30 countries of which nearly 12 have inked agreements and it is under active implementation in some 10 countries. According to sources, India is now close to commissioning a chain of stations in the island nation of Maldives, which saw the ouster of pro-China autocratic President Yameen in elections last year and a friendly Solih government took shape. Incidentally, Maldives was a major stumbling block for CSRS cleared in 2011.

    Maldivian Defence Minister will be in Delhi on an official visit next week and the second round of dialogue mechanism formed at level of Defence secretaries in 2016 will soon happen.

    While an older version of the radar stations systems is already functional in Srilanka and Mauritus, the process is under way in Seychelles and capabilities have been offered to Mozambique and Madagascar, said sources. Discussions are also underway with Bangladesh and at an advanced stage with Myanmar which is acquiring military equipments too from India, sources added.

    “We have offered this to Thailand. And we have offered a pilot project to Indonesia to develop it for an island, which can be scaled up later,” said an official privy to discussions adding that the White Shipping agreements data will be collated into this integrated system.

    Defence sources added that military engagements have increased significantly with West Asian countries.UAE is looking at India as a potential source of defence equipments with some key contracts signed, while India is exploring possibility of a first ever joint army exercise with Egypt.

    “Egyptians have strong commitment to counter terrorism, so we hope they will have some spare capacity. Jordan and Morocco are engaging more actively with us,” an official remarked.

    However, sources underlined that India is not ready to step up its military exercises at level of Quadrilateral grouping or to include Australia in Malabar exercises despite Canberra’s keenness.

    Sources say India would like to see further enhancement of bilateral military ties with Australia which saw Indian Air Force for the first time participate in Exercise Pitch Black last year in Darwin. Meanwhile, procedures have been cleared for India to soon depute a Defence Attache to the US Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain as was agreed upon during the inaugural Indo-US 2+2 dialogue last year, said sources.


    Major Navy drill to avert 26/11 repeat

    Ajay Banerjee
    Tribune News Service
    New Delhi, January 21

    Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba will on Tuesday kick off the biggest search operation at sea to hunt for enemies aiming to attack India through sea route, exactly the way Mumbai was attacked by terrorists in November 2008.

    The tw-day drill is part of an unprecedented exercise, ‘Sea vigil’, which will test and validate India’s coastal security architecture set up after the attack on the Maharashtra capital, infamous as 26/11.

    Admiral Lanba will send out a “signal”—military parlance for a message—to commanders along the coast and given “targets” that will need to be found. No time has been given as to when this signal will go out as the surprise element has to be maintained. These targets will be vessels at sea which Admiral Lanba designates as “enemy” and will have to be found and “terminated” using all resources. It will cover the entire spectrum of maritime security.

    Involved in these search operations will be the Navy, Coast Guard, Customs, marine police and state police forces, warships, helicopters, fast-attack crafts and a chain of radars set up all along the coast, UAVs and satellites.

    The National Command Control Communication and Intelligence Network with the Information Management Analysis Centre at Gurugram will be operational. A total of 51 nodes of the Navy and Coast Guard are integrated—all will provide comprehensive maritime domain awareness. The exercise will be undertaken along the entire 7,516-km coastline and exclusive economic zone.


    New command structure for ITBP from April

    Vijay Mohan
    Tribune News Service
    Chandigarh, January 21

    The Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP), mandated for the peacetime management of the border with China, will have a new command structure from April 1, with the force’s border guarding elements being segregated into two commands, one for the western theatre and the other for the eastern theatre.

    According to instructions issued by the ITBP Directorate General this week, the Western Command and the Eastern Command will comprise two Frontier Headquarters each. A frontier, headed by an officer of the rank of IG will have three Sector Headquarters, headed by a Deputy Inspector General and comprising three to four battalions under them.

    A command will be headed by an officer of the rank of Additional Director General (ADG). Sources said that positioning of officers for these posts would be done once the pending cadre review is finalised. In addition, an ADG posted at force headquarters in Delhi will exercise control over the Bhopal-based Central frontier and some other establishments. Consequently, Western Command will have 25 battalions and Eastern Command 19 battalions, and ADG, Delhi, 12 battalions and four specialist battalions under their command.

    At present, the force is divided into five frontiers that report directly to the Force Headquarters, along with other training, logistic and administrative establishments, through an Additional Director General based in Delhi. The ITBP has a total strength of 56 service battalions and four specialist battalions, of which 32 are deployed in border-guarding duties, 11 in internal security and eight in anti-Naxal operations.

    The Western Command will control the Dehradun-based Northern Frontier comprising of Shimla, Dehradun and Bareilly sectors and the North-West Frontier, presently at Chandigarh, that comprises Srinagar and Ladakh sectors.

    The North-West Frontier is being relocated from Chandigarh to Leh with effect from April to better exercise command and control over ITBP units in the area. The MHA had approved the move in February 2015, but it could not be implemented due to administrative reasons. The establishment of a new sector headquarters at Almora had been approved earlier, but was kept in abeyance since 2014. This is now being revived and moved to Chandigarh as a new Sector Headquarters with a battalion each at Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala. Sector Headquarters Delhi with four battalions, is being moved out from the jurisdiction of the North-West Frontier and is being placed under the control of IG (Headquarters) functioning under the ADG, Delhi.


    Connecting the China border Civil-military synergy will fetch volumes, funds

    Connecting the China border

    The Indian Air Force (IAF) plans to take up the upgrading of Vijaynagar, an almost-inaccessible sliver of a plateau on the China border surrounded by forests on all sides. This advance landing ground (ALG), or a temporary airfield, was among the seven earmarked for modernisation eight years ago. Since then, six became functional but Vijaynagar became so in 2016. It is heartening that locals in this hinterland are lending a helping hand. The Arunachal Government did its bit by building 150 km of roads through dense forests to this ALG. This rare instance of civil-military synergy is a case for cheer in a theatre where infrastructure development has been perennially delayed, especially on the border with China.

    These ALGs are purely for military use. While their strategic importance is indisputable, there are grounds to utilise the upgraded infrastructure for civilian use as well. Several airports in the country have become throbbing hubs of civilian travel such as Chandigarh, Goa or Pune that were once military bases. Now that the IAF has set its sights on making strips functional in places like Lahaul-Spiti and Ladakh that are tourism magnates but tough to access by road, there should be the possibility of dual use at some of them. The extension of civic infrastructure in areas where there has been none contributes to the cause of national security; a variation of the ‘hearts-and-minds’ programme undertaken by the security forces in similarly remote areas.

    It may be worthwhile to take a leaf out of China’s Tibet book in this regard. China has modernised six civilian airfields in Tibet to handle military operations. New Delhi, too, needs to convert makeshift strips with tourist potential into all-weather dual-purpose facilities. India has broken out of the siege mentality with the forward deployment of its military assets while observing the spirit of the 1996 and 2005 Sino-India agreements. The excessive cost of building facilities in remote areas has hampered modernisation of the upper Himalayas at the desired pace. Wherever feasible, dual use will distribute the infrastructure costs among several stakeholders to meet the pressure on government funds by competing demands.


    Punjab to acquire 24 hectares in 3 villages for Kartarpur corridor

    Punjab to acquire 24 hectares in 3 villages for Kartarpur corridor

    A photo released by the Pakistan government shows “work in progress on the Kartarpur corridor”.
    Dera Baba Nanak/New Delhi, Jan 21

    The Punjab Government has issued a notification to acquire land for the Dera Baba Nanak-Kartarpur Sahib (Pakistan) corridor. The notification comes in the backdrop of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s request to the Centre to release funds for the project.

    Deputy Commissioner Vipul Ujwal today said Dera Baba Nanak SDM Ashok Sharma signed the notification on January 18 to acquire 24 hectares of land falling in the revenue jurisdiction of three villages — Jaurian, Chandu Nangal and Pakhoke Dera Sahib.

    “A total of 24 hectares will be taken over to construct the 4.25- km-long stretch from Dera Baba Nanak to the zero line,” said Sharma.
    Ujwal said a Central team would visit Dera Baba Nanak on January 23 to work out the modalities for constructing the integrated check post (ICP) and select sites where other infrastructural works are to be initiated.

    Cooperation Minister and Dera Baba Nanak MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who recently claimed that Pakistan had started work on its side, said: “The time has come for the Centre to release funds. I have requested Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to give a facelift to the Dera Baba Nanak railway station.”
    Meanwhile, Pakistan has shared a draft agreement with India on the corridor. It lists out proposals to facilitate the travel of Sikh pilgrims to Kartarpur Gurdwara in Narowal, 4 km from the Gurdaspur border.

    It has appointed Director-General (South Asia & SAARC) Dr Mohammad Faisal as its point person and requested Delhi to appoint one soon. A statement said India is invited to urgently send a delegation to finalise the agreement. — TNS