Rs 7,796 crore undertaking permitted to spice up Military communications in border areas

Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1

Meeting the long pending demand of the Indian Army, the Cabinet Committee on Security has approved a proposal for establishment of the fourth phase of the Army Static Switched Communication Network (ASCON).

It would augment the communication network of the Indian Army in the sensitive forward operational areas which in turn will provide a major boost to the operational preparedness of the Army, especially keeping in view the current operational situation at Line of Actual Control, the Ministry of Defence had said.

The project would be implemented by public sector undertaking, ITI, at an estimated cost of Rs 7796.39 crore in a period of 36 months from the date of signing of the contract. The contract was signed today.

The project is a strategic and theatre area communication network which will upgrade the existing Asynchronous Transfer Mode Technology to Internet Protocol as well as Multi Protocol Label Switching Technology. Optical fibre cable, microwave radio and satellite will be used as the communication media.

It will provide better survivability, responsiveness and high bandwidth in any operational scenario and enhance the communication coverage of network closer to the borders.

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 along the western border too.  

Further, with approximately 80 per cent indigenous content, the project will also be a boost to the Indian industry.

It involves execution of civil works, laying of cables, tower construction, etc. Utilisation of local resources and hiring manpower would generate employment opportunities, especially for people in remote border areas, support and boost rural economy, assist in upliftment of local economies, provide skill development during the prolonged period of execution and maintenance of the network. 

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