AFNET – An Important Topic For Defence Aspirants

Hello aspirants,

Technology is developing at a breakneck pace, and one must walk hand in hand with it to be in the race of development and modernisation. Our Indian military forces successfully adapt the new changes in the technology to help in the proper functioning of the troops. In this post we will talk about one such crucial technology, i.e. AFnet also called AirForce network. This article is essential for all the aspirants with a technical background and is appearing for the SSB.

  1. What is AFNET?
  • Air Force Network (AFNet) started in the year 2010 and is an Indian Air Force (IAF) owned, operated and managed digital information grid.
  • The AFNet replaces the Indian Air Force's (IAF) old communication network set-up using the troposcatter technology of the 1950s making it a true net-centric combat force.

  1. What was the need for AFNET?
  • Armed Forces in India has been using troposcatter as primary means of military communications since the 1950s.
  • Occupying huge and expensive 2G and 3G spectrums which otherwise could have been used for expanding and de-clogging the private wireless communication network.
  • Department of Telecommunication (DoT) started a project called "Network for Spectrum" to set up a fibre optics network for the exclusive use of Indian Armed Forces in exchange for spectrum being released by the Defence Forces.
  • The primary motive behind the initiation was to ensure modernization of defence communications with the state-of-the-art communication infrastructure and to support net-centric military operations.

  1. Setup of AFNET?
  • MOU was inked between The Department of Telecom(DoT) and the Ministry of Defence for setting up of a dedicated network for defence forces.
  • DoT agreed to lay down optic-fibres about 40,000 km route covering 219 Army stations, 33 Navy stations and 162 points for the Air Force.
  • It further agreed to set up an exclusive defence band and Defence Interest Zone along 100 km of the international border, where spectrum will be reserved only for use by the Armed Forces.

  1. What is the technology behind the network?
  • AFNet exhibits the latest traffic transportation technology in the form of IP (Internet Protocol) packets over the network using Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS).
  • A large VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) layer with the best suitable quality of service enforcement will facilitate a robust, reliable, high-quality voice, video and conferencing solutions.

  1. How is this benefiting our forces?
  • AFNet provides an effective force multiplier for intelligence analysis, mission planning and control, post-mission feedback and related activities like maintenance, logistics and administration.
  • The AFNet is also capable of transmitting video from crewless surveillance aircraft(UAV), pictures from airborne warning and control systems (AWACS) to decision makers on the ground and providing intelligence inputs from remote areas.
  • This advanced technology will give a firm hold on the multilayer security by incorporating encryption technologies, Intrusion Prevention Systems and the system is secured with advanced encryption process and is highly reliable.
  • With all these excellent facilities this proves to be a blessing for the forces.

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Jai Hind