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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS : It is crucial for India to embrace multi-domain operations 

 

Source: The Hindu

 

  • Prelims: Current events of international importance(India-US relations, Indo-China disputes etc )
  • Mains GS Paper II: Bilateral, regional and global grouping involving India, Significance of Indo-Pacific for India etc

 

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • The India-China fighting on the Arunachal Pradesh border has brought the Chinese threat on the front burner again.

Current Affairs

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

External Affairs Minister about Chinese threat:

  • To counter this threat, we have a deployment of the Indian Army that we have never had.

 

Threat has faded in public consciousness due to:

  • electioneering
  • bridge collapses
  • yatras,
  • G-20 etc.

 

Multi-domain operations (MDO):

  • It comprises operations conducted across multiple domains and contested spaces through convergence of capabilities
    • Overcomes an adversary’s strengths by presenting it with operational and/or tactical predicaments.
  • MDO is not just actions on land, in sea, air, cyber, space and in the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • It is not one service using capabilities in multiple domains to do a task: It is the best positioned and capable operator of any service doing it across any domain
  • An Army coastal missile battery: It could be tasked to strike an enemy naval vessel detected by the radar of an Air Force aircraft or an Air Force’s armed unmanned aerial vehicle on an Intelligence
  • Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions: It could be diverted to use its weapons against an Army target detected by a naval/civilian satellite
    • Alternatively, a cyber weapon could be used.
  • MDO architecture uses any sensor and the best positioned shooter
  • The technical complexity and the command, control and communication (C3) structure required can well be imagined.

 

MDO and its C3 structure:

  • It would have inputs from all sensors to come up with an optimum engagement solution using artificial intelligence.

 

What does it demand?

  • All sensors (and other information input sources) must be capable of being hosted on the MDO architecture.
  • All solution providers (executors) must be able to receive inputs and instructions from the MDO C3 structure and carry them out.
  • If the link to the main structure is not available (say, jammed by the enemy): The mission command characteristics of distributed control would come into play so that operations continue.

 

Way Forward

  • Pioneering technologies that only nations with a developed scientific base and financial standing can afford.
    • It would require a de novo look at doctrine, planning, acquisition, staffing and training.
  • India would be deterred by denial during peacetime itself as China, which has the technology and finances, masters MDO..
    • India has no choice but to embrace MDO too.
  • Traditional physical domains must be stabilized with critical deficiencies of the services being plugged.
  • C3 networks need to be hardened and protected against cyber threats.
    • Importantly, they need to be linked and synchronized so that seamless exchange of data is ensured.
  • A pilot project must be started now so that the true challenge of creating an MDO environment is grasped
    • Presently, it’s just western literature driving theoretical discussions in the seminar circuit.
    • The pilot project would identify the technologies required and an idea of the monies necessary.
  • To get the fundamentals of MDO right: It is vital to train and educate personnel starting now
    • S. Air Force has a one year-long training course ongoing to help develop critical thinking and problem solving skills

 

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

Q. How will I2U2 (India, Israel, UAE and USA) grouping transform India’s Position in global politics ?(UPSC 2022) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)