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Indian Army starts induction of 'Akashteer' system to enhance air defence posture


NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian Army has started the induction of control and reporting systems under 'Project Akashteer' to bolster its air defence capabilities, sources said on Thursday.

'Project Akashteer' aims to deliver an "unprecedented level" of situational awareness and control for the force to ensure safety of friendly aircraft and engage hostile aircraft in "contested airspace", they said.

In the 'Year of Technology Infusion' (2024), Indian Army has boosted its air defence capabilities with 'Akashteer Control and Reporting Systems', the Army sources said.

'Project Akashteer' is a cutting-edge initiative designed to automate air defence control and reporting processes by digitising them, they said.

The deployment of 'Akashteer' began with the flagging off of the first batch of control centres from BEL-Ghaziabad on Thursday.

Developed by the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) as part of the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' initiative, this project is poised to significantly enhance the operational efficiency and integration of the Army's air defence mechanisms, the sources said.

By integrating radar and communication systems "at all levels" into a unified network, 'Akashteer' aims to deliver "an unprecedented level of situational awareness and control", they said.

This will enable "swift engagement of hostile targets, significantly reduce the risk of fratricide, and ensure the safety of friendly aircraft in contested airspace", according to the sources.

A noteworthy aspect of 'Akashteer' is its emphasis on mobility and resilience, a source said.

The system's control centres, designed to be vehicle-based and mobile, can maintain operational capabilities even in challenging communication environments, the Army sources said.

The system will facilitate the achievement of complete automation of air defence operations and significantly enhance the air defence posture of India, they added.

The induction of the systems has commenced in the Indian Army's Corps of Army Air Defence, in a significant move towards enhancing India's defence capabilities and technology absorption.

The Indian Army has declared 2024 as the 'Year of Technology Absorption' and is undertaking various initiatives to induct niche technology and systems into its inventory.

Induction of 'Akashteer' control centres is one of the major milestones achieved by the Army on its path to transformation that will meet the current and futuristic requirements of complex air defence operations, the sources said.

Meanwhile, top commanders of the Army have decided to explore the feasibility of creating a tailor-made organisation to function as "adversarial force" to carry out realistic war-gaming and training as part of overall efforts to enhance the force's combat prowess to deal with future security challenges.

The Army Commanders' conference concluded in Delhi on Tuesday.

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