Defence ministry fast-tracks indigenisation of Software Defined Radios for Armed Forces

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) has accelerated the indigenous deployment of Software Defined Radios (SDR) with the country’s leading research and development institutions – the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur to address the increasing demand from the armed forces in a wide range of operations.

A complete product lifecycle management framework is required for security-sensitive SDR technology and products. This includes indigenous self-sustainable design, development, manufacturing, testing/certification and ecosystem support.

Defense Minister Dr Ajay Kumar, while giving high priority to the indigenous development of SDR technology, said it would be an important milestone towards achieving the goals of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in the field of secure radio communication.

Two key elements of native SDR technology are the standardized operating software environment (OE) and applications (also known as waveforms) with associated waveform storage and testing/certification facility. Standard OE enables portability and interoperability between SDRs of multiple vendors. To this end, the Ministry of Defense has decided to define and develop a reference implementation of an India-specific operating environment called the Indian Software Communications Architecture (SCA) profile or the Indian Radio Software Architecture.

IIT Kanpur Director Dr. Abhay Karandikar, who is the Chairman of the SCA Committee constituted by the Ministry of Defence, pioneered the idea of ​​creating a ‘SCA Profile in India’. A Draft Project Report (DPR) has been formulated by DEAL/DRDO for local development of SDR with roadmap and schedule. The Directorate of Standardization (DoS) in the DoD’s Department of Defense Production will lead the development of IRSA with DRDO, academia and industry with a three to six month definition and an additional 18 months for associated reference implementation, testing and compliance certification tools .

Having IRSA through access control will enable Indian software vendors to integrate and make SDRs interoperable and security scalable. IRSA will be notified by DoS and shared with industry to develop indigenous SDRs for use by Indian Defence/Security Forces and for export to friendly foreign nations.

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