November 25, 2020

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Indian Army launches Infrastructure Management Software

When initially established, most cantonments and military stations were built on the edge of existing towns and cities. Over time, as these places have developed, the military areas are now in the middle of major population centres. Consequently, the land that the army owns has increased astronomically, as real estate within is now a very scarce resource. As the Indian expands to accommodate its growing ranks and capacities, infrastructure development has gained significant importance in many of the Army stations where major works are planned to replace vintage accommodation of the pre-independence era.

Presently a majority of functions for infrastructure development and management, including ascertaining the availability of land, planning and monitoring of works, environment conservation and responsive quartering policies are carried out manually. The process is time-consuming and involves multiple agencies. Additionally, unstructured data, storage and diversity of records and permissions makes the procedure cumbersome and inefficient.

Accepting that automation is the key to empowering all stakeholders and goes a long way in making the process efficient, transparent and accountable, the Indian Army has deployed software to digitise the entire system. The “Infrastructure Management System” (IMS) software which was inaugurated by the COAS on the sidelines of the Army Commanders Conference on 28 October 2020. The platform has been developed to:

  • automate works initiation, preparation of list and its approval by the Ministry of Defence
  • accord administrative approval and monitoring of execution by the CFA
  • automate availability of CAO pool accommodation, plan vacations, re-allocation and undertake maintenance
  • automate approval of accommodation allocation/extension for children education ground, special children and battle/physical casualty
  • manage cantonment roads including emergency closure
  • make land, works and quartering policies available on line
  • monitor land encroachment, Old Grant Bungalows, VIP references and transfer/exchange of land

This is one of the various measures the army has taken on its digital front. As part of the nation’s Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India) vision, the Indian Army has developed a simple and secure messaging application named the “Secure Application for the Internet” (SAI).

The application supports end-to-end secure voice, text and video calling services for Android platform over the internet.  The model is similar to commercially available messaging applications like Whatsapp, Telegram, SAMVAD and GIMS and utilises end to end encryption messaging protocol.  SAI scores over on security features with local in-house servers and coding which can be tweaked as per requirements.

The Ministry of Defence has reviewed the functionalities of the app and was impressed by the ingenuity it embodies.

The application has been vetted by CERT-in empanelled auditor and Army Cyber Group.  The process for filing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), hosting the infrastructure on NIC and working on the iOS platform is currently in progress.  SAI will be utilised pan Army to facilitate secure messaging within the service.

These initiatives come in the backdrop of significant tech-enabled developments by the army. Notably, the indigenously developed Laser-Guided Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) was successfully test-fired at the start of October. The ATGM employs a tandem HEAT warhead to penetrate Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) protected armoured vehicles up to a range of 1.5 to 5 km.

Developed by Armament R&D Establishment (ARDE), Pune in association with High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune and Instruments Research & Development Establishment (IRDE), Dehradun, the ATGM has multiple-platform launch capability and is currently undergoing technical evaluation trials from 120 mm rifled gun of MBT Arjun.

In the same week, the Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART) was effectively tested. SMART is a missile assisted release of lightweight Anti-Submarine Torpedo System for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations far beyond Torpedo range.

All the mission objectives including missile flight up to the range and altitude, separation of the nose cone, the release of torpedo and deployment of Velocity Reduction Mechanism (VRM) were met perfectly.

The tracking stations (radars, electro-optical Systems) along the coast and the telemetry stations including down range ships monitored all the events.