Cabinet Committee approves Indian Army Communication Network for Rs 7,796 crores

Published: October 1, 2020

On October 1, 2020, the Cabinet Committee in Security approved ASCON (Army Static Switched Communication Network) Phase IV. ASCON is a high end communication system. It is to be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 7,796 crores. The project is to be implemented within 36 months.

Highlights

The project will upgrade existing Asynchronous Transfer Mode Technology to Internet Protocol and Multi-Protocol Label Switching Technology. Microwave radio, Optical Fibre and Satellite are to be used as communication media. With this the speed of data will increase and so will the reach.

About the Project

The project will provide high responsiveness, survivability and high bandwidth in any operational scenario. It will enhance communication coverage of networks closer to International border especially in Line of Actual Control and Line of Control. The network is to extend its bandwidth communication to remote operational areas in the Eastern and Central Sectors. It will also enhance communication in the western borders as well.

The project involves laying of cables, civil works, tower construction, etc.

The project has 80% of indigenous content. This is a great boost to the Indian industry. The project will help generate employment opportunities especially in the border areas and boost rural economy. It will assist in the upliftment of local economies.

Background

India has been strengthening its border security to a huge level. This is mainly due to the recent stand off with the Chinese. Also, Pakistan has not been pleased with Abrogation of article 370.

High bandwidth communication is required at high altitudes to keep track on Chinese and Pakistani army movement. India has also been strengthening its maritime security. India expects similar Chinese moves in the Indian Ocean as that in the Ladakh region.

Though, the countries have settled on a 5-point consensus, they have still not agreed on certain border areas such as Pangong Tso.

Cabinet Committee on Security

It is responsible for deciding defence expenditure, senior appointments of national security apparatus, and defence policies. It is chaired by the Prime Minister of India.

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