BEL is expected to hand over a couple of these radio sets to the Indian Army in March for evaluation, and a version for the navy is also under consideration
BANGALORE: The Digital India initiative may have just received a boost with Bharat Electronics limited unveiling their first-ever digitised radio communication set, STARS-V mark III. BEL’s Navratna Defense PSU’s product is the first software defined radio set that can work without a line of sight as well. BEL is expected to hand over a couple of these radio sets to the Indian Army in March for evaluation, following which further improvements will be made if necessary. A version state-of-the-art next gen radio is under consideration for the Indian Navy as well.
“Two-and-a-half years and close to Rs 50 crore have been spent for the product. Previous radios were hardware defined, which meant that upgrade was not an option, but this radio is software defined, which means it can be upgraded like a regular IP-operated gadget. What makes it special is its ability to hop frequencies, making it difficult for the enemy to breach data secrecy,” said M V Gowtama, CMD, BEL. The Make in India initiative has seen some massive promotions at the Aero India show and the launch of STARS-V mark III added to it. The Next-Generation communications set’s features include multi-band, high data rate, software intensive IP with Mobile Adhoc Networking functionality supporting up to 64 nodes.
The radio works in wide frequency band in the V/UHF range of 30-512 MHz and supports frequency hopping and fixed frequency modes of operation with built-in-high-grade digital voice and data secrecy. This new radio is backward compatible with the legacy STARS-V Mk II radio in clear, secure and frequency hopping modes of operation. The STARS-V mark III is designed as a 10W manpack transceiver. It comes with built-in encryption, 6PS receiver, ethernet interface and is password protected. The MANFT network is self-forming, self-healing and supports network throughput up to 1 Mbps and does not require any base station or infrastructure required for setting up of the network. It also includes state-of-the-art technology-based ruggedised gardware, in-house developed robust algorithms and waveforms, re-configurable software modules, emergency self-erasure, robust connectivity for network centric operations in tactical battle field condition. It also enables simultaneous voice, data and video services and transfer of situational awareness across network.