The Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning to deploy an advanced communications network, the MOD has invited several international companies to participate in an international tender to offer software defined radio based communications for the networks’ airborne and ground based segments. Initial testing are expected to commence in February 2013. The companies competing in this program are IAI and RAFAEL from Israel, the US company Rockwell Collins and Rhode & Schwartz of Germany.
The use of ad-hoc networking optimizes the spectrum utilization, while the use of advanced waveforms deliver high speed networking, supporting live video, image transfer, voice and data. Reliance on SDR also ensures ‘future-proof’ upgradability and interfacing with legacy systems.
According to RAFAEL, the system they are offering is based on a new family of SDR systems developed by the company in recent years, that have been recently selected by the Brazilian and Columbian Air Forces for airborne networking applications. RAFAEL began the development of BNet as a ground based network, adapting the system for airborne and air-ground applications. RAFAEL plans to transfer considerable elements of the system development and production to India, enabling local partners to share a major part of the program in the current phase and also benefit from its future spinoffs.
According to RAFAEL, the efficiency of BNet as an adaptable network means that the airborne communications could provide in the future the basis for advanced terrestrial communications, supporting land-based applications as well.