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|October 13, 1998
Navy warned against ignoring information technologyThere is an urgent need for the Indian Navy to restructure and align itself to information technology and adopt a sensor-to-shooter connectivity to respond to the emerging challenges, according to Stanford University Professor Commodore (Retd) Dr Arogyaswami J Paulraj.
A strategic communication expert, Dr Paulraj, while delivering the Eighth
In a knowledge-based and highly communication-intensive scenario, the war may be over in seconds, he said while addressing an elite gathering of naval officials. The audience included Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat and Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Naval Command Vice-Admiral Madhvendra Singh and former chief of naval staff admiral L Ram Dass, son-in-law of late Admiral Katari.
"Of course, IT alone does not win wars... Our values of integrity, courage and commitment remains fundamental everywhere and at all times," he said adding "IT give key leverage in modern naval warfare where most engagements can be over in minutes or in few seconds."
He suggested that the navy could have a separate IT fleet at par with a full-fledged fleet. This would basically be a technology building fleet for technology induction. He cited the example of the US, which during the Second World War had a separate fleet for technology induction.
Commodore Paulraj, who retired from the Indian Navy in 1990, and later pioneered new wireless technology known the world over as space-time communications, during his one-hour lecture said that the use of it enhances combat power and interestingly the technology is cheaper.
To adapt to the changes, he suggested that every officer should have a master's degree or equivalent technical training and every non-commissioned officer should have a bachelor's degree or equivalent technical training.
"We should also forge stronger partnerships between the services, public and the private sectors. This will also enhance quality of life at sea as people can study and be in constant touch with their families."
He said that the extremely developed navies of the world have satellite technology, PC based radar, sonar and missile rooms and in a war situation these navies can launch a crackdown quickly.
The fleet or brigade can launch missiles or weapons with cent-per cent precision with the help of its modern IT tools, he pointed out.
Commodore Paulraj said that the gap between the civil-military IT gap the world over is widening at a very fast rate. The gap of around seven to eight years could be reduced by way of a revolution.
He said it is a force-multiplier and its use will enhance precision targeting, consistent situation awareness and rapid and mass engagement.
Hooking up the networks to the satellites would enhance capability. The navy should also start three to four IT adaptation centres.
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