For better survivability and responsiveness in operational situations, the Cabinet Committee on Security on Thursday approved a proposal for a secure and better communication network at an estimated cost of Rs 7,796.39 crore.
The Defence Ministry said that the new Army Static Switched Communication Network (ASCON) was a long pending demand of the Indian Army.
"It is being implemented by the ITI, a public sector undertaking, at an estimated cost of Rs 7,796.39 crore," said the ministry, adding that the implementation schedule is of 36 months from the date of signing of the contract.
Further, with approximately 80 per cent indigenous content, the project will provide a boost to the Indian industry.
The project will upgrade the existing Asynchronous Transfer Mode Technology to Internet Protocol (IP) and Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) Technology.
"Optical Fibre Cable (OFC), Microwave Radio and Satellite will be used as communication media," the ministry said.
The project will provide better survivability, responsiveness and high bandwidth in any operational scenario and enhance the communication coverage of the network closer to International Border, Line of Control and Line of Actual Control.
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 in the Western borders too.
Thus, the project 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 Indian Army, especially keeping in view the current operational situation along the LAC.
The project involves execution of civil works, laying of OFC, tower construction, and with utilisation of local resources and hiring of manpower, it would generate employment opportunities, especially for the people in the remote border areas, support and boost rural economy, assist in upliftment of the local economies, and provide skill development during the prolonged period of execution and maintenance of the network.
The project is also a big opportunity for the public sector to showcase its capability and provide an impetus to the Indian economy and will be a step in the direction of achieving the goal of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'.
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