The military’s dependency on technology has grown exponentially over the past few decades. It has been demonstrated in recent conflicts globally that situational awareness has been a decisive advantage in any operation. Therefore, digital systems are being increasingly deployed by the Armed Forces since these are generating critical data, which is vital for developing a coherent picture of the battlespace to maintain operational superiority. One of the foremost advantages that situational awareness provides is the ability to coherently deploy assets across the land, sea, and air domains. This is only possible when the assets can effectively and securely communicate with each other in real time across a secure data link.

This is the philosophical essence of the concept of Network Centric Operations (NCO), as it adapts to reduce the time needed to respond to the changes on the battlefield. The Indian Armed Forces are in the process of deploying NCO as it has become a necessity to deploy critical resources effectively and efficiently.

With the move towards  self-reliance and self-resilience, India is keen to attract global investment into the defence sector to reduce its reliance on traditional imports. This represents an immense opportunity for the companies, industries, and the skilled workforce across India and the U.K. to collaborate and innovate for mutual benefit.

As both India and the U.K. strive towards protecting national interests within the purview of international laws, it stands to reason that the ability to jointly conduct operations would be a critical asset for both nations. Network Centric Operations (NCO) are the very first step of moving towards that objective as they would become the necessary backbone for the Indian military to build its own integrated environment.

Accordingly, this paper highlights the new and evolving NCO capabilities that are part of modern warfare and how the militaries of today can leverage them effectively and efficiently. This endeavour would greatly benefit from the combined experience, skills and technologies of companies that have been actively working in this domain, from both countries. For the companies in turn, this represents an immense opportunity for growth while simultaneously contributing to national objectives. As no decisions of this magnitude are assessed in isolation, there is a need to understand the wider landscape of the Indian defence ecosystem.

Through this paper, we also seek to explore the concept of NCO in greater detail, study the frameworks for its development, the roadmap, and challenges in its implementation. The implementation of the various aspects of NCO operations would also provide an opportunity for the Indian industry to leverage its existing expertise in the fields of network communications and IT to help develop a robust and secure system.

Key Contact