Wednesday, September 08, 2010

IAF's AFNET NCW Backbone Goes Live Next Week

Just received this statement from the Indian Air Force: Next week, the Indian Air Force (IAF) ushers in a modern, state-of-the-art digital information grid by dedicating the Air Force Network (AFNET), a fully secure and reliable network to the nation, making it a true net-centric combat force. The AFNET replaces the IAF’s old communication network set-up using the tropo-scatter technology of the 1950s.

The IAF project is part of the overall mission to network all three services. The mission comes in the backdrop of an IT Roadmap document of the Defence Ministry stipulating automation, simulated training and mandatory computer proficiency in the services.

The IAF has taken up a mandate to create and maintain an assured, dedicated, secure and inter-operable communication network along with associated services to provide real time, instantaneous transfer of information between Sensors, Command and Control (C2) centres and Shooters. In addition, IAF aspires to use communication network and IT-enabled infrastructure for all other operational, techno-logistics and administrative functions to leverage development in this field to enhance efficiency, cost-effectiveness and ease of administration.

While all three services are engaged in large scale automation and computer-based networking, the IAF is the first among the three to complete the project of interlinking major installations throughout the country on a high bandwidth network.

All major formations and static establishments have been linked through a secure Wide Area Network (WAN) and are accessible through data communication lines. The nationwide programme was launched by the IAF in collaboration with the private industry to accelerate the use of Information Technology (IT) as well as to link all field units using a dedicated satellite.

AFNET incorporates the latest traffic transportation technology in form of IP (Internet Protocol) packets over the network using Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS). A large VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) layer with stringent quality of service enforcement will facilitate robust, high quality voice, video and conferencing solutions.
Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS), an automated command and control system for Air Defence (AD) operations will ride the AFNET backbone integrating all ground-based and airborne sensors, AD weapon systems and C2 nodes. Subsequent integration with other services networks and civil radars will provide an integrated Air Situation Picture to operators to carry out AD role.
AFNET will prove to be an effective force multiplier for intelligence analysis, mission planning and control, post-mission feedback and related activities like maintenance, logistics and administration. A comprehensive design with multi-layer security precautions for “Defence in Depth” have been planned by incorporating encryption technologies, Intrusion Prevention Systems to ensure the resistance of the IT system against information manipulation and eavesdropping.

15 comments:

Heberian said...

Awesome!

Hopefully, no Chinese hardware was used :) Not that a dedicated team of hackers cannot get thru..

Anonymous said...

what the hell is going on? Pakistan wanted to buy 3 U-24 for $1.5 billion while we are buying 6 of that kind of submarines for $11.5 billion!!

why???

sumit..m..a..rule..!.so..follow..me said...

sir is this project is corresponds to the that is to be developed by BSNL for armed forces ,

Ram said...

The AFNET will definitely prove to be a shot in the arm and a booster to communications. However we need to see that all systems are secure and provide layers of fire wall protection. The greatest disadvantage in such systems, that once penetration is done, then the hacker is unstoppable.

the terminator said...

Indians are acknowleged IT wizards but any hostile foreign dedicated hacker would be able to penetrate the multi-level firewalls over a period of time.

Since the nation's defence is at stake would AFNET be made fool-proof/hacker-proof to the maximum?

It would be a good idea to pack trojans and other malicious spyware in the system which should disable and cause considerable havoc to any cyber attacker apart from feeding disinformation!

Since the Armed Forces are going ahead to being net-centric, encription of the highest level should be the basic mantra.

Kunal said...

Would it not be better to have a CUG (closed user group)/pvt. network for the Tri-services + Stratcom through dedicated satellites and servers with built-in disaster recovery mechanism and having no interface with the INTERNET whatsoever? Also, such a network could be devised using a different set of protocols. That way it would be hack-proof and inaccessible to outsiders while adequately delivering operational requirements.

Also, I hope the designers of AFNET have taken adequate precautions of using EMP-hardened hardware throughout the network along with Faraday cages, etc.

NJS said...

Some official news confirms India will select EF 200 engine for LCA 2 , it could be officially announced , but unknown when india will announce it .
so lot of chances for EF typhoon in mmrca .

Anonymous said...

A word of caution for the writer...reporting/ report writing is becoming pure verbose..less in substance and more of language..reminds of our palpitating reporters on camera in our English news channels...please learn about your subject (more, i gather you're generally well informed)..Loose use of terms like "defence in depth" may be avoided...third last para is another example...thanks for the forum to comment

Anonymous said...

Good hear it all. I am some how connected to AFNET at user level. Few of my worries always overlooked by Indian Authorities.
1. All the Backbone is on one properietery based network. This network encryption, IDS and other technologies are governed by the Origin Nation. All the master alogorithms are submitted to DoD by a forced law of that Origin country.
2. Our airforce is just a learner of this technology as students. They are really now aware of deep inside out about this technology.
3.No where is world I have ever noticed that Defens force is advertising its backbone to whole world that too being politically motivated and inclined for taking credits.
4.There is no knowldge about the monitoring of hackers with scientific procedures.
5. What ever you suggest the Airforce is not that much net savy as on today. So my recomandations are they should recruit some Honounary designers as recruited Sachin Tendulakar for Group Capt. I am ready for it.

Anonymous said...

Good hear it all. I am some how connected to AFNET at user level. Few of my worries always overlooked by Indian Authorities.
1. All the Backbone is on one properietery based network. This network encryption, IDS and other technologies are governed by the Origin Nation. All the master alogorithms are submitted to DoD by a forced law of that Origin country.
2. Our airforce is just a learner of this technology as students. They are really now aware of deep inside out about this technology.
3.No where is world I have ever noticed that Defens force is advertising its backbone to whole world that too being politically motivated and inclined for taking credits.
4.There is no knowldge about the monitoring of hackers with scientific procedures.
5. What ever you suggest the Airforce is not that much net savy as on today. So my recomandations are they should recruit some Honounary designers as recruited Sachin Tendulakar for Group Capt. I am ready for it.

Anonymous said...

1. A carrier Class pan india network getting completed in such a time is truly a monumental achievement for the IAF. Speaks highly of the professionals involved.

2. The comments on all sensitive encryption and algorithms used being open appear to be inaccurate and ill informed- there are clearly laid down GOVT of India rules which have to be adhered by all.

3. I think that the basic technology for networking has to come in from one amongst whoever is the best in the business. Just like we procure aircrafts, carriers, radars, power, railway eqpt ( which would include all the embedded computers and systems on board) from reputed successful international companies -- there is really no alternative when it comes to networking eqpt as well. for example I havent heard or read an internet article of a single large indian country wide network being operated successsfully purely on any indigenous equipment.

4. 'Defence in depth" -- as i understand is a standard network security phrase for implementation of multilayer security - at different layers of the protocol stack.

5. Once again i wish the IAF and country all the best -- and what i look forward is effective use of similar technology to move towardspaper less offices in all govt organisations for better efficiency and transparency.

Murugan said...

What Knnal says, makes good sense.AFNET designers could perhaps have separated the Operations Handling Network from Administration functions network as two distinct parts. Air Force is also organised and structured this way.While Admin Network could have been interlinked to Internet, the operations network could be a CUG with its own dedicated satellites and Servers.
S.Murugan

Ivan Pinto said...

1-What about the highest level of encryption and decryption based on highly confidential Indian-only algorithms?
2-What about redundancy of network and datacentres?
3-What about multiple high-speed supercomputers processing this data?
4-What about physical, take no prisoners, multi-layer security to main command and sub commands?
5-What about phyical and electronic isolation with multlayer security?
6-What about a higly classified testing by an Air Force/CTRI hacking team on main and sub networks?
7-What about a paranoid constant check on all staff stationed at AFNET reporting to the Defense Minister ONLY?

Anonymous said...

@ Pinto
What about you dont get to know all that!!!

Anonymous said...

@anonymous(9.49 pm)
If u keep urself anonymus,how can u help?U seem to be a fifth columnist
mohan