A look at the Institute of Systems Studies and Analyses, Delhi.
Everyone knows that success in modern warfare does not depend on the muscle power of soldiers, but on the effectiveness of applying the gifts of modern technology for military planning and operations. These require the active support of scientific research and analysis of all relevant factors. This process comes under the domain of systems studies and analyses in the defence forces.
Analytical methods have to be applied for the solution of complex strategic operational problems. Decision-making on the optimum use of available resources, combat operations and tactical deployment of forces also forms part of this vital exercise.
The elements involved include orderly thinking, quantitative and qualitative analysis, design research, statistical studies, mathematical programming, inventory theory and forecasting techniques, modelling, sensitivity analysis, simulations, regression analysis and in-process reviews.
“Modelling involves the application of a standard, rigorous, structured methodology to create and validate a model, which is the physical, mathematical, or otherwise logical representation of a system, entity, phenomenon or process.”
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has an institution engaged in this vital area of military planning and operations: The Institute of Systems Studies and Analyses (ISSA), Metcalfe House, Delhi – 110 054; Website: http://drdo.gov.in/drdo/labs/ ISSA/English/index.jsp? pg=homebody.jsp
The ISSA aims at excellence in system analysis, modelling and simulation of defence systems to meet the challenges of the present and future needs of our armed forces. It develops high-quality integrated software for system analysis and decision support in diverse application areas in air defence, air-to-air combat, electronic combat, land and Naval combat and sensors and weapons.
Although information technology had not been developed in 1959, the Indian defence services did at that time make plans for the use of operational research and system analysis. The cost effectiveness of weaponry in the three forces was studied by the Weapon Systems Analysis Group. In 1963, it was renamed the Scientific Evaluation Group. By 1968, it grew as a full-fledged Directorate of Scientific Evaluation. It gave advice in the areas of strategic defence planning and analysis, weapons evaluation, damage assessment and performance evaluation. This was of great help to the Defence Ministry in decision-making.
The institution assumed its present name in 1980. The Centre for Aeronautical Systems Studies and Analyses, with its records on several design and development activities, was merged with the ISSA in 2003. This merger helped in integrating ‘war gaming’ development and other activities of the two units.
Today, the ISSA has become a nodal laboratory that specialises in systems analysis, modelling and simulation of defence systems using state-of-the-art info-technologies such as computer networking, software engineering, distributed database, distributed simulation, Web technologies, situational awareness and soft-computing techniques.
Areas of work
Air defence and electronic warfare simulation
Battlefield damage assessment
Combat modelling and simulation
Consultancy for systems analysis
Design trade-off and performance evaluation of systems
Development of computer war games for teaching and training
Development of software as decision aid
Evolution and evaluation of strategic and tactical plans
Force mix studies
Information age combat models
Integrated software for mission and operational planning and tactical training
Network-centric integrated air defence
Operational information dissemination
Radar, electronic warfare and information warfare systems
Strategic missile air defence
System reliability studies
Threat assessment and strategic planning
Weapon performance and systems modelling
Weapon selection and acquisition
The institute identifies the needs of the armed forces and conducts system studies on the current and futuristic warfare requirements. Further, it undertakes development of integrated computer simulation models and software test beds for evolution and evaluation of strategies and tactics. The software serves as tools for analyses.
The institute does not work in isolation. It maintains continuous interaction with major research centres working in this area: the Indian Institutes of Technology, Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur, and Madras; the Indian Institute for Science, Bangalore; the Operations Research Society of India, Kolkata; and the Institute of Defence Scientists and Technologists, Bangalore.
All these point to the fine opportunity that awaits prospective research scholars in this premier centre specialising in this rare area of system studies and analyses.