In a massive boost for the Indian Defence forces, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Thursday has given its nod for the Army Static Switched Communication Network (ASCON) Phase IV of the Indian Army. The long-pending demand of the Indian Army and the project has been given to ITI, a PSU, and it will be implemented within 36 months from the date of signing the contract. The estimated cost of the project is around Rs 7796.39 crore, the Defence Ministry said in its official statement.
Network to be used in forward areas
The network will extend the high bandwidth communication to the remote operational areas in Central and Eastern Sectors and enhance communication reach to the forward locations in the Western border too, the ministry said.
“Thus, the project would augment the communication network of Indian Army in the sensitive forward operational areas which in turn will provide a major boost to the operational preparedness of the Indian Army especially keeping in view the current operational situation at LAC,” Defence Ministry said.
About the ASCON project
ASCON project will be an upgrade to the existing Asynchronous Transfer Mode Technology to Internet Protocol (IP) / Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) technology, the ministry said. Optical Fibre Cable (OFC), Microwave Radio, and Satellite will be used for communication, it added. In any operational scenario, the project will provide better survivability, responsiveness, and high bandwidth and enhance the communication coverage of network closer to IB/LC/LAC, the ministry said.
Boost to the Indian industry
Furthermore, with approximately 80 percent indigenous content, the project will provide a boost to the Indian Industry as the project involves the execution of civil works, tower construction, laying of OFC, etc. Moreover, with the utilization of local resources, hiring of manpower, it would generate employment opportunities especially to the people in remote border areas, support and boost the rural economy, assist in the upliftment of the local economies, provide skill development during the prolonged period of execution and maintenance of the network, the ministry said.
The communication project is also a big opportunity for the public sector to showcase its capability and provide an impetus to the Indian economy. It will be also a step in the direction of achieving the goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat, according to the ministry.