By R. Anil Kumar
- BEL bags order of modern communication sets from Indian Air Force
- The indigenous software designed radio (SDR) technology-based sets will boost the IAF’s communication network
- Bharat Electronics is involved in the business of aerospace and defence manufacturing
- The contract will also give a push to the company’s order book which stood at Rs. 76,217 crore as of January 1
- The company also released its Q3 earnings two weeks ago which saw its net profit rise 40 percent on year to Rs. 859.6 crore as against last year’s Rs. 613 crore
Bangalore, February 10. The Indian Air Force informed that it has signed a contract with state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for the procurement of software-based light weight man-portable radio communication sets.
The indigenously developed communication sets will use components implemented by the means of software as against the conventional ones that use analogue hardware for the purpose.
“The Indian Air Force has signed a contract with Bharat Electronics Limited, for procurement of Light Weight Man Portable modern communication Sets. These Indigenous Software Designed Radio (SDR) technology-based sets will provide a boost to the IAF’s Communication Network,” the Air Force posted via its official handle on social media platform X (formerly Twitter).
The order placed by IAF is in line with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government’s efforts to reduce India’s dependence on imports for its military needs.
BEL is a ‘Navratna’ undertaking of the Government of India under Ministry of Defence. It has previously designed the Akash Air Defence Weapon System, Coastal Surveillance System, Weapon Locating Radar and 3D Tactical Control Radar used by various arms of India’s Armed Forces.
Besides designing and manufacturing defence equipment, the Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) also specialises in the production of non-military equipment. The Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) used across the nation for State Assembly and Lok Sabha elections have been designed by BEL. The company also produced around 30,000 ICU ventilators in a record time during the COVID-19 pandemic contributing to India’s healthcare infrastructure.
The contract between the IAF and BEL not only signifies a milestone in indigenous defence manufacturing but also reflects the government’s commitment to bolstering self-reliance in defence production.
As India continues to strive towards technological innovation and self-sufficiency in defence, collaborations between the armed forces and domestic manufacturers like BEL play a crucial role in achieving these objectives.
SDRs Being Procured by IAF
These man-portable radios, primarily designed by DRDO, are to facilitate communication in various scenarios, including ship-to-ground, ground-to-ground, and ground-to-air, especially during critical amphibious operations, as per a prior DRDO statement.
The SDR-Manpack developed by DRDO was specifically crafted to meet the specialised needs of Marine Commandos (MARCOS).
Equipped with the features like Frequency Modulation (FM), Digital Secure Voice Transmission and Enhanced Concurrent Communications Multiplexer (ECCM) capabilities, this equipment according to DRDO, ensures secure and reliable Communication channels.
Furthermore, the DRDO developed SDRs supports both narrowband and wideband Communication in the V/UHF band, thereby ensuring that flexibility and adaptability are maintained in various operational environment.
Similarly, the SDR-Handheld is used for certain speech applications. With support for FM and digital secure voice waveforms, along with secure authentication features and in-built GPS receivers for location tracking, this compact radio, according to DRDO, has a high degree of flexibility and the much-needed interoperability for mission-critical tasks.
The SDR also features a multi-mode, multi-rate software-defined radio architecture by offering jam-resistant frequency hopping, MANET networking capabilities, and a complete array of high-grade Security features.
In simpler terms, these SDRs will support voice, video, data and messaging services to ensure hassle-free communication is maintained across various platforms and legacy systems.