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Why Is The Indian Army Activating Satellite-based Internet On Siachen Glacier Such A Big Deal?

Story Highlights
  • "The government is dedicated to building a robust, safe, fast, and 'Aatmanirbhar' logistics system to deal with future security concerns and propel the country to greater heights," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said at the occasion.
  • According to Mint, the Defence Procurement Council approved capital acquisition proposals for the Armed Forces totaling 76,390 crore in the 'Buy (Indian),' 'Buy & Make (Indian),' and 'Buy (Indian-IDDM)' categories in June.

The Indian Army has established satellite-based Internet connectivity atop the world’s highest battleground, the Siachen Glacier.

The Fire and Fury Corps, stationed in Leh and responsible for military deployment along the Kargil-Leh border with China and Pakistan, tweeted:

This comes on the same day that the Indian Army announced that it has asked the domestic defence industry to provide essential defence equipment for emergency acquisition as part of its pledge to “fight future battles using indigenous solutions.”

Why is this a big deal?

Because of the inherent challenges in providing services to remote and hilly places.

According to the Daily Excelsior, whereas China has improved communication in rural communities on its border, India has lagged in some places, despite efforts by the current government to catch up.

According to The Times of India, Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) is the army’s internet service provider in Siachen, which is located in the Himalayas’ eastern Karakoram range.

According to the report, BBNL has also launched the BharatNet Project, which aims to provide satellite-based Internet access to around 7,000 Gram Panchayats and distant locations that do not have access to fiber-based internet.

The proposal calls for four satellite gateways with two high-throughput (HTS) satellites to cover 7,000 locations. According to the study, around 4,000 Gram Panchayats have been commissioned as part of the programme.

According to the Daily Excelsior, a few private companies are providing various satellite-based internet services to the Indian Army in sensitive border areas such as Eastern Ladakh.

According to the report, Hughes Communications India, which has partnered with ISRO to use the Indian space agency’s Gsat-11 and Gsat-29 satellites and recently announced the commercial launch of India’s first high-throughput satellite (HTS) broadband service, is providing sat-based connectivity to the Indian Army along the China border, including in the Galwan region.

Indian Army shares links for RFPs

The Indian Army has been focusing on several indigenous solutions to suit its diverse needs, and it recently organised a logistics symposium where it addressed methods to make the system self-sufficient.

“As part of its commitment to fight future battles with indigenous solutions, the #IndianArmy invites the Indian Defense Industry to propose vital defence equipment for emergency procurement.” The Army tweeted, “#IndianArmy #InStrideWithTheFuture.”

The procedure will be predicated on “tight timescales, with the procurement window open to the Indian industry for six months and the industry expected to deliver equipment within one year of signing the contract,” according to the statement.

It noted on the microblogging site that procurement cases will be based on “open tender enquiry.”

“Proposals for Guns, Missiles, Drones, Counter Drone, Loiter Munition, Communication & Optical systems, specialised Vehicles, Engineering Equipment, and Alternate Energy Resources are being fielded,” it claimed in another tweet.

“The government is dedicated to building a robust, safe, fast, and ‘Aatmanirbhar’ logistics system to deal with future security concerns and propel the country to greater heights,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said at the occasion.

According to Mint, the Defence Procurement Council approved capital acquisition proposals for the Armed Forces totaling 76,390 crore in the ‘Buy (Indian),’ ‘Buy & Make (Indian),’ and ‘Buy (Indian-IDDM)’ categories in June.

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