The Indian Air Force (IAF) has undertaken an inhouse innovation to improve the Identification Friend or Foe or IFF capabilities known as Vayulink. Vayulink is said to be a jammer-proof communication with the base station using Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). The communications even when there is low signal prevents fratricide through effective IFF.
Such a system is important given the possibility of incidents of fratricide under operational conditions as that of a helicopter in Budgam, Jammu and Kashmir in the aftermath of the 2019 Balakot air strikes.
Wing Commander Vishal Mishra, a helicopter pilot with the Indian Air Force (IAF) is said to have led the innovation and the system was showcased at Aero India 2023.
The system has been reportedly deployed in the Western and Northern sectors on a trial basis.
The name of the link being employed by the Indian Army is Trishul link.
Wing Commander Mishra is hopeful of the link providing full spectrum battlefield visibility to the three services in the future.
Full Spectrum Battlefield Visibility
Full spectrum battlefield visibility assumes importance in integrated operations conducted in multiple domains simultaneously.
The US Army for instance uses a Blue Force Tracker for, “shared situational awareness to track friends or foes”.
Thus there is high level of potential for deploying the Vayu Link across the service in a larger role than only IFF.
Post full trials, development for situational awareness and transfer of technology for indigenous production to a local firm could be envisaged to exploit the potential of the innovation by Wing Commander Mishra.