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Indian Navy to ‘upgrade’ HF broadcast systems!

The Indian Navy is on a communications upgrade spree and has sent out Request for Information to acquire around 50 advanced High Power HF Broadcast Transmission Systems. This is to replace or modernise existing HF Broadcast Transmitting Stations at various locations. ‘The HF transmitter and receiving systems require extremely large antennas that are up to the standards of the military,’ says a senior officer.

The Navy’s communication system bounces radio signals off the ionosphere and back down to receiving stations that are waiting. Its most common application is in long-distance communications, such as those conducted by the shipping and aviation industries. It is susceptible to changes in the surrounding atmosphere, which can cause fading and noise. The operational range extends from five hundred to several thousand Kms.

The capabilities that are envisioned for the system include remote operations, such as keying of Morse (CW) and data communication, which would be done from Broadcast Controlling Stations over naval terrestrial, Satcom, or wireless networks. The capacity of data transmission and file sharing functions is mentioned in the RfI. The system should be capable of establishing a communication network. Remote control through the use of an external PC or laptop is also required. The HPHBTS set should be able to be operated remotely through both terrestrial and wireless technologies used by the Navy.

Each set of communication equipment for the Indian Navy’s VLF, V/UHF, and HF frequency bands is to be maintained for an additional three to five years after the warranty has expired. From the time it is delivered to naval transmitting stations, the overall lifespan of the equipment should be at least 12.5 years. The vendor is obligated to give an undertaking that future changes to the system’s software and hardware will be made available to the Navy.

Other communication networks

The Indian Navy is contemplating the purchase of SATCOM terminals that are compatible with C-band and Ku-band frequencies. Most of these SATCOMs are now more than 10–12 years old, and the field units have reported problems relating to product support and a slowdown in data transfer. Sterlite Tech will be responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of the digital communications network that will be provided to the Indian Navy.



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