Sudarshan Shakti, a joint exercise of the Southern Army and South Western Air Command, entered its crucial phase on Thursday with the entire Southern Command, which is being put through its paces in a simulated battlefield environment, taking part.

Network Centric Warfare (NCW), which is one of the crucial aspects being validated in the “jointmanship” between the Army and the Air Force, was in full view.

The exercise, which commenced with a service of small team actions and moved up subsequently in the command chain, is now progressing towards culminating in large scale manoeuvres under General-Officer-Commanding, 21 Corps.

Defence spokesperson S.D. Goswami said the exercise “Sudarshan Shakti”, based on the integrated Theatre Battle concept under Southern Army Commander Lieutenant-General A.K. Singh, with 21 Corps in the lead, validated and integrated the use of all available assets, including satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles and HUMINT to assist commanders in action in a fluid battlefield.

“The whole exercise envisages innovative manoeuvres in a simulated battle environment by composite combat entities, supported by air and complemented by a wide array of force multipliers and enabling logistics in a tri-service environment,” he noted.

The day's operations also validated the important facet of real-time sensor-to-shooter loop, which enables commanders to take instant decisions even as information is shared among platforms and personnel to order the weapons to be deployed. NCW provides shared information of the battle space among armed forces and is an integral part of the ongoing transformational studies.

It is pointed out that the Southern Command is working towards ‘Capability-based approach' on a series of transformational initiatives spanning concepts, organisational structures and absorption of new age technologies — particularly in precision munitions, advance surveillance system, space and network-centricity.