The Pakistan Army recently undertook a nighttime exercise in the Kharian-Gujranwala area. As per Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), units from the Army’s Central Command and Southern Command took part in the exercise. Central Command had committed infantry and mechanized assets.
ISPR also reported that the Pakistan Army Chief of Army Staff – General Raheel Sharif – was briefed about the exercise in a “newly inducted hi-tech net-enabled virtual war room.”
Notes & Comments:
Like the Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy, the Pakistan Army has progressed building its capacity for network-centric warfare.
The Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) al-Khalid main battle tank (MBT) is configured with an ‘Integration Battlefield Management System’ (IBMS), which enables commanders on the field to observe their surrounding threat environment. The IBMS likely draws on feeds from land-based friendlies, such as other tanks and/or reconnaissance/scouting vehicles. In time – if not already – the IBMS could potentially receive visual or sensor information from aerial intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) assets.
Software defined radios (SDR), especially Harris Corporation Falcon II, form the foundation of the Army’s wireless tactical communication element. The Army has also inducted SDRs domestically built under license by the National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation. Like the Air Force’s Link-17, these SDRs could possibly form the foundation of a tactical data-link for the Army; an air and ground data-link tying airborne ISR assets to land forces combat systems would be a natural step forward.