DEVELOPMENTS IN EQUIPMENT & SIGNAL COMMUNICATIONS
— Wireless Sets — Radio Relay — Cable —Exchanges & Telephones — Line
Equipment — Teleprinters & Fuller Phones — Power Equipment & Batteries —
Crypto Equipment — Specialist Vehicles. STATIC COMMUNICATIONS : Wireless — Line Communications — Signal
Centre Procedure — Communication Boards & Committees — Amateur Activities.
TACTICAL COMMUNICATIONS : Tactical
Communications Committee — Line Communications — Signal Despatch Service — Plan
AREN — Electronic Data Processing Systems (EDPS). CONCLUSION.
the time of its inception in 1911 up to 1947 and even for a few years
thereafter, the equipment and communication policy concepts of Indian Signal
Corps were based those of the Royal Signals in
. This was perhaps unavoidable
since the Corps was officered entirely by Royal Signals which also provided a
large share of the technical personnel. Also, since the equipment in service in
was produced in the India
or one of the Commonwealth countries based on British designs, it was natural
that the policy for its exploitation be similar to that prevalent in UK .
World War II several shortcomings were noticed in the existing equipment in service
with signal units in the corps and divisional signal units. A comprehensive
review was carried out in 1944 and the following changes were recommended in
the organisation and equipment of divisional signals, which then had only two
No 1 Company
No 2 Company
Wireless Sections A & B, the 22 set was to be replaced by 19HP. For
rearward links to corps, the SCR 399 would replace SCR 177B.
Cable Section (C) would hold
50 miles of D8 and 30 miles of D3 cable.
Despatch Rider Section (D) would be given motor cycles as well as jeeps.
Operating Section (O) would be capable of establishing two light and two
heavy signal offices. This would cater for advance or step up offices for
the main and rear divisional headquarters.
the H Section, for the Commander Royal Artillery (CRA), the 22 sets would
be replaced by two 19HP sets, one for the forward net and the other for
the rear link to Commander Corps Royal Artillery (CRRA). Artillery lines would be laid by C Section.
artillery, anti-air craft and anti-tank regiment signal sections would use
the 19HP instead of the 22 set for rearward communications.
new war establishment of the divisional signals was issued in 1946, superseding
the one that had been in existence since 1926 with several amendments
(Ind/WE/I/26/8). Shortly after
the 19HP could not be mule packed, brigade signal sections would use the
22 set with the 76 set as an alternative.
The battalion detachments would use the 22 set.
N Section for Commander Royal Engineers and the R Section for the
divisional reconnaissance regiment would use the 19HP set.
infantry tank cooperation, the 38 set would be used.
, the War
Office Policy Statement No 25 of Independence 30 April 1948 was issued in . Though this policy statement
was applicable only to Royal Signals, it is of interest to us because the
equipment policy in UK
was then dependent on India
for supply of all signal equipment, including wireless sets.
UK 1949 a
Signal Equipment Policy Statement was drawn up by Signals Directorate under two
heads i.e. ‘Short Term’ and ‘Long Term’.
The Short Term Policy was to be applicable a maximum period of five
years. It was based on the following
The Long Term Policy was intended to
follow the Short Term Policy, for which no firm date was given. It was based on
the available information of the War Office Policy and its stability would
depend on the supply of equipment ex-UK and the results of trials of this
the next five years existing stocks of American and British types of
obsolescent equipment will continue to be used for reasons of economy.
items of equipment will be introduced only when stocks of existing types
of equipment waste out.
substitution of existing equipment when wasted out would depend upon
stocks of new equipment received from the
and also on indigenous
production and development. UK .
General Staff Policy Statement No 76 Issue No India 2, a basic policy document on
signal equipment, was approved by the General Staff Equipment Policy Committee
in April 1955, in
order to guide the development and production of the first series of indigenous
equipment with the aim of achieving self-reliance and in order to inject an
orderly family of equipment conforming to the then tactical doctrine. The
salient features of GSPS No. 76 of 1955 in respect of signal equipment are given
addition to regimental communications, GSPS No 25 of 1955 laid down the
requirements for wireless and line communications in corps and divisions that
were to be provided by Signals. This included the types of wireless sets,
exchanges, cable, telephones, carrier equipment, voice frequency telegraphy
equipment and so on. In brief, the requirements were as given below:-
Wireless communications would be on HF,
using three different types of sets, having ranges of 15-
communications would be based on line telephony on field cable and direct
link radio telephony. Wireless sets would be a mix of HF (mobile) and VHF
infantry units, battalion to company nets would use a VHF manpack set with
a range of
Company to platoon nets would be based on a light weight VHF pouch set
having six pre-set channels and a range of 1.5 miles. HF sets
would be used if use of VHF was precluded due to terrain or long ranges
(jungle, desert etc).
armoured units, regimental nets would be based on HF sets with a range of
Communications within troops and with infantry would be on VHF sets. Sets
would cater for intercommunication between crew and re-broadcast
facilities between HF and VHF sets.
sets in field artillery and anti-tank units would be similar to those in
in coastal batteries, light anti-aircraft and heavy anti-aircraft units
would be based on two types of wireless sets, with ranges of 15-20 and
line telephony, magneto telephones with facility to work on central
battery (CB) and magneto switchboards of 12 lines would be used.
assault and D class cables would be replaced by general purpose twisted
field cable weighing less than
50 lbs per mile with speech range of 8- 10 miles, capable of
being laid from dispenser packs or drums.
sets of 150 watt (manpack) and 500 watt (vehicle mounted or capable of
being carried on a mule) would be authorised.
20 miles, 30 miles and over 100 miles respectively,
the last two using separate sets for transmission and reception.
A simple man transportable radio relay
of range 15 miles
capable of working with 1+4 carrier telephony and voice frequency telegraphy
equipment would be provided.
In addition to light field cable of
range of 8- 10 miles,
D8 cable of range 15 miles
would be provided. Quad cable would be suitable for use with carrier equipment
such ACT (1+4). A 10 pair multi core cable would be used in place of the 7 pair
Switchboards would cater for 40 lines,
capable of being built up to 200 lines.
Multi channel equipment such as (1+1)
and (1+4) would be provided, the latter catering for expansion up to (1+12).
Single and multi channel voice frequency
telegraphy (VFT) equipment would be provided, for use with fuller phone.
On line cipher machines with page
printer would be catered for.
next major change in equipment policy occurred in 1961 with the issue of
General Staff Policy Statement No 76 (Revised). The reasons that necessitated
the revision of the existing policy were the advent of nuclear weapons,
enhancement in ranges and lethality of tactical weaponry and greater mobility of
fighting formations and units which were likely to be widely dispersed and
communications would have to be provided over longer ranges. The emphasis on
electronic warfare and the additional requirement of circuits for surveillance
and warning systems also had to be taken into account. Due to congestion in the
available frequency bands, there was a need to exploit higher frequencies and
reduce the transmission bandwidth by use of new techniques. 3
No. 76 (Revised) was issued on 22
May 1961, superseding GSPS No. 76 of 1955. It was decided that the
short term policy issued earlier vide GSPS No. 61 would continue and be
reviewed from time to time within the framework of the new long term policy
statement. Since the development of the new equipment was likely to take
considerable time, it was also decided that an interim policy would be
formulated to bridge the gap between the equipment under development and the
final requirement as visualised in the long term policy.
important feature of the new policy was with regard to the nomenclature of
wireless sets. It was felt that the existing system did not convey any
information about the equipment, necessitating frequent reference to data
books. The new system would consist of alphabets and figures that would
indicate the frequency band (HF, VHF, UHF or SHF); type of carriage (manpack,
vehicular or static) and the range in kilometres. In addition, an ‘A’ would be
used to indicate an amplifier used with a basic wireless set. As an example, a
HF manpack set having a range of 8 kilometres would be called HM8. If this was
associated with an amplifier unit that was also man-transportable increasing
the range to 25
kilometres, the nomenclature of the complete station
would be HM8AM25.
notable feature was to standardize the various types of signal equipment thus
reducing the size of the inventory and giving greater flexibility in their
employment. For regimental communications three types of VHF and comparable HF
counterpart wireless sets were to be developed. The first of the series would
be crystal controlled with a ground range of 3 kilometres; the
second in the series would be continuously tuneable with a ground range of 10- 12 kilometres; while
the third would have a ground range of 25 -35 kilometres. For
use at higher echelons, wireless sets would have ground ranges of 80, 150 and 800 kilometres. In
the immediate future the sets would be in the HF band but would be shifted to
the VHF band as VHF technique progressed. Sets for ground to air communication
would use frequencies in the UHF band.
salient features of the long term policy enunciated by GSPS No. 76 (Revised) of
1961 are given below:-
after the issue of the GSPS No. 76
(Revised) of 1961, the Sino-Indian conflict of 1962 took place. A large
quantity of signal equipment was received from the
regimental communications, the first family of HF sets would be used if
VHF could not be used due to terrain. HM-10 would be used between
battalion and company and HM-30 for rearward links.
case VHF sets could be used, the sets used would be VM-3/VV-3, VM-10/VV-10
and VM-30/VV-30. All sets in the VHF family would be inter-workable, with
frequency coverage of 30-70 Mc/s.
wireless sets from brigade upwards and operated by Signals would use the
second family of HF sets, with frequency coverage of 1.5 – 30 Mc/s. The
sets in this family were the wireless senders HV-80, HV-150 and HV-800 and
receivers HR-1and HR-2.
relay equipment would comprise two types of sets. The forward area radio
relay set (RR1A, RR1B and so on) would have a range of 30-
per hop and be capable of handling up to 12 carrier channels. The rear
area radio relay set (RR2A, RR2B and so on) would have a range of 45- 55 kilometres
and be capable of handling up to 16 carrier channels.
sets (RR3, RR3A and so on) would have a range of 200-
They would be integrated with radio relay sets of the RR2 system.
sets for other applications were the HM-800 for CW only; UV-1 for tanks;
UM150/UV 150 for ground to air communication; and the general purpose VHF
field exchanges would have 12 lines while formation exchanges would have
40/160 lines. A general purpose field telephone would be used at all
levels. For mortar and anti-tank platoons and artillery sub units sound
powered telephones would be provided.
clearance of message traffic, fuller phones would be used in brigades and
divisions. Upwards of division, teleprinters would be used. Other
equipment such as facsimile, tape relay equipment, teleprinter exchange
and automatic data corrector would also be used at higher headquarters.
carrier telephone (ACT) 1+1 would be used at division and brigade. At
higher headquarters, ACT 4/16 channels would be provided.
voice frequency telegraph (VFT) speech plus duplex (
would be used at corps, division and brigade. Apparatus voice frequency
telegraph 4/16 channel would be used at corps and division.
types of speech secrecy equipment would be developed. The lighter version
for use in brigade and battalion would work off batteries, while the
heavier version for use in formation headquarters would work off AC
off line cipher machine would replace the existing Type ‘X’ Machine Mk II.
In addition, an on line cipher machine would be designed.
quad capable of providing
95 kilometres range with ACT (1+4) and
carrying 16 carrier channels over short line tails would be used. For
forward troops, field cable providing range of 30- 40 kilometres
between telephones would be provided. For local lines and line tails, 10
pair cable would be used. , for use in formations facing
the Chinese. In addition, considerable quantity of equipment was purchased from
foreign countries. This upset the planned induction of equipment as envisaged
in GSPS of 1961. Another factor was the formation of the Tactical
Communications Committee (TCC), which recommended several changes in the
communications set up of the Army. Two important changes were the decisions to
go over largely from HF to VHF radio communications, and the introduction of
radio relay in the divisions. This necessitated the development of various
types of new equipment. Due to shortage of time, much of this equipment was
acquired from foreign countries.
At the time of USA , almost all wireless sets in
service with the Indian Signals Corps were of British, American or Canadian
origin. Most of these sets had been developed during World War II and given to
India through the Lend-Lease scheme, under which war material being produced by
all Allied nations was pooled and allocated to theatres that needed it most.
This proved to be a boon for countries such as Independence that produced hardly any
equipment of their own. In addition to imports under the Lend Lease scheme,
some equipment was obtained after the war from ex-US Army surpluses. The wireless sets that were in service at
that time were as under:-
Wireless Set India 22 A general purpose HF set that could be used in vehicle, animal
or manpack role, with an output of 8 watts on CW and 3 watts on RT. It had a
range of 25- 30 miles
and was used for forward communications in divisions and brigades. Was
subsequently replaced by WS 62.
Wireless Set 19 Low Power/High
Power A versatile HF set used in armoured
formations and also for communication between corps and division. With a power
output of 9 watts it gave a range of 20- 30 miles, which could be
doubled by converting the set to high power using Amplifier RF No. 2. Versions
‘B’ and ‘C’ were used for intra squadron communications and communications
within the tank, respectively
Radio Set SCR 399 This
was a medium power set used for communication rearwards of division. It was
used in conjunction with generator PE 75/PE 95.
Wireless Set 53 This was a general purpose HF medium power
set that could be used in mobile as well as static roles. With a power output
of 250 watts, it gave a range of 100 miles on rod aerial which was mounted on
the roof of the vehicle when working on the move.
Wireless Set 62 A general purpose HF set that could be used
in vehicle, animal or manpack role, with
an output of 1.1 watts on CW and 0.8 watts on RT. It gave a range of 25 miles on CW and 15 miles on RT when
stationary using a 14 foot
rod aerial. The set was not hermetically sealed but splash, rain and immersion
proof. It could be remote controlled from half a mile on D3 cable.
Wireless Set Burndept BE201/CN348 The CN348
was used for air to ground communication. It had a power output of 3
watts and a range of 60
miles with aircraft at a minimum height of 5000 ft. The BE201 was a
crystal controlled set and an improved version of CN348. It had a wider
frequency coverage, slightly higher power output and better performance.
Wireless Sender Marconi SWB8X This
was a high power sender for long distance CW, RT, RTT and SSB transmission in
the HF band. The power output was between 2 to 4 kilowatts depending on the
mode and the range was 2500
miles depending on frequency and aerial used.
A diversity receiver used for reception of high speed telegraph signals over
long distances. It had automatic frequency control (AFC) and used three rhombic
aerials connected to the receiver by 75 ohms impedance feeders.
Wireless Set 76/R209 The crystal control sender (76) could work off
mains or batteries giving ranges of up to 500 miles on wireless
telegraphy. The receiver (R209) was a general purpose field receiver with a
built in vibrator power supply unit and loudspeaker. It replaced R 106, R107
and R109 receivers.
Wireless Sets 48/18/46 These were very low power wireless sets used
by units of Artillery, Engineers, Signals and Military Police.
Soon after , it was decided to import WS 88
for regimental communications. Two models of the set, known as Type A and B,
were approved. WS 88 Type A had four spot frequencies viz. 40.2, 40.9, 41.4 and
42.15 Mcs. It was meant for use primarily between infantry company and
platoon. WS 88 Type B also had four spot
frequencies (38.01, 38.60, 38.30 and 39.70 Mcs) and was intended for use in
mortar and artillery roles. The first 100 pieces of WS 88 Type A were received
in early 1948. Type B was then still in
the development stage and was received a little later. It was used for
communication in mortar platoons and by Engineers during bridging
with the 88 set, WS 31 was also imported in 1948 for regimental communications.
It was a light weight manpack set used for RT communication between battalion
and company. With frequency coverage of
40-48 Mcs and power output of 0.3 watts, it had a range of 2- UK 4 miles. Being dust and waterproof, it was suitable
for infantry during assault landings. Shortly afterwards, it was discovered
that it was an exact replica of the American SCR 300. It was then decided to take over all
available stocks of radio set SCR 300 at the US Army Surplus Stores Depot in . (The words
wireless and radio are interchangeable. The British used ‘wireless’ while the
Americans used ‘radio’. In India, ‘wireless’ continued to be used until 1965,
when it was replaced by ‘radio’ in all forms of military writing vide Army
Order 583/65. Similarly, cycles per second or c/s was replaced by Hertz or
In Calcutta 1949 a new policy regarding the employment of
very low power wireless sets viz. 46/48/18 being used by units of Artillery,
Engineers, Signals and Military Police was issued. It was decided that instead
of all units using all three types of sets, each would use one or at the most
two types. Accordingly, WS 48/18 was earmarked for Artillery and Engineers; WS
46 for Infantry and WS 48 for Military Police. Only Indian Signals units were
permitted to use all three types. These sets had actually been superseded by WS
31 but were still being used because only limited stocks of the latter were
available. Once sufficient stocks of WS 31 were received, WS 48/18/46 were
Indigenous research and development
and the electronic industry in
was in a stage of infancy in 1947 and remained in this state up to the 1960’s.
Most of the radio sets which had been in service for over a decade were
approaching obsolescence in their country of origin and needed constant
attention due to ageing. Communication
concepts were essentially governed by the necessity of conforming to the
equipment available rather than on an integrated system tailored to meet the
tactical requirements of command and control.
Most of the radio sets operating in the HF band, rear of the unit or
equivalent level, had a very restricted part of this band available for
usage. Radio frequency congestion and
attendant interference coupled with the susceptibility of the HF to the
vagaries of natural and manmade disturbances and seasonal/diurnal propagation
constraints set the thought process of switching over to the VHF for most of
the short-haul radio links forward of the main divisional headquarters, range
and terrain conditions permitting.
During the late 1950’s some new
equipment of post-war origin such as the radio sets C11/R210, C42 and C13,
which had been introduced in the British Army, were tried out with a view to
make up the deficiencies of comparable equipment supplies of which had
virtually dried up due to their obsolescence in their country of origin. For regimental communications, the 6-channel
VHF crystal controlled radio set ‘P’ had been under development by M/s Bharat
Electronics Ltd (BEL) since 1954, to replace WS 88. It was then expected that production would
commence in 1956. However, certain
defects were noticed in the proto-type trials during October 1955 and the sets
were returned to the designer for modifications. User trials on RS P Type ‘A’ were again
carried out in April 1958 and certain defects were brought out. In October 1959, four prototypes of RS P Type
‘A’ (for infantry company to platoon communications) and two prototypes of Type
‘C’ (used for infantry-tank communications) were sent to 50 Independent
Parachute Brigade Signal Company for short trials. A considerable amount of interference between
channels was experienced and the sets were returned to BEL for aligning them on
a new set of frequencies. The
Electronics Research and Development Establishment (LRDE) completed technical
trials on RS P Types ‘A’ and ‘B’ in July 1961.
Short user trials revealed that the battery life of the set was low and
it was not omni-directional. In October
1962, technical trials on the AFV version of the set were completed by
LRDE. 1 Armoured Divisional Signal
Regiment was ear-marked to carry out user trials in the first quarter of
1963. Meanwhile, orders for limited
quantities of the equipment had been placed on BEL, much against the wishes of
the Signals Directorate. During October
1964, it came to notice that inter-channel interference was prevalent in the
sets of the first production batch.
Stability of the set below -20ºC was also found unacceptable.
In early 1963 it was learned that
the RS DA/PRC India 261, a
12 channel crystal controlled low power VHF set had been developed by M/s
Philips ( )
for the Dutch Army. Six pieces of the
equipment were procured immediately for assessing their suitability for
introduction into the service to replace RS 88, instead of the RS P, which had
still not been accepted. The Dutch sets
were subjected to user trials in Ladakh and their performance was found to be
vastly superior to that of RS 88 or RS P.
An indent for quantity 900 of RS DA/PRC 261 was floated for immediate
procurement in January 1964 and the supply was expected to commence from
September 1964. A letter of intent was
also given to M/s Philips ( Holland )
for assembling 3,500 sets during the last quarter of 1964. It is pertinent to
note that RS DA/PRC 261 was the first transistorized equipment to be introduced
in service in India .
From 1948 onwards, the wireless set
used for communications between a battalion and company headquarters was WS 31,
and that between company and platoon was WS 88. After the Sino Indian conflict
in India 1962, a
considerable amount of equipment was received from the . This
included 500 pieces of RS AN/PRC 10, which were to be issued to units facing
the Chinese. It was decided to use the set for communications between a
battalion and company headquarters, replacing the WS USA 31. In January 1963 the
first lot of RS AN/PRC 10 sets was issued to 20, 17 and 27 Divisions. The WS 31
sets rendered surplus in these formations were utilized to make up deficiencies
of Eastern and Western Commands.
this time, the US Army had switched over to the RS AN/PRC 25, a new generation
equipment which was the first set using the principle of frequency
synthesis. In October 1963, a formal request was
made to the United States Indian Supply Mission (USISM) to provide two sets for
trials, as replacement of RS 31 and AN/PRC 10.
The two sets arrived in
during April 1964 and were put through successful user trials. Subsequently, in October 1964, trials
conducted in 4 Mountain Divisional Signal Regiment re-affirmed the suitability
of the set. An indent for six sets was
initiated which on arrival were put through trials in a number of units including
6 Mountain Divisional Signal Regiment.
As in the case of RS DA/PRC 261, besides procuring some initial quantity
by direct import, a contract was signed between M/s BEL and M/s RCA, the
manufacturers in India ,
to produce the set under collaboration in USA . Subsequently, a booster unit was developed
for the set indigenously by BEL, which later started producing a fully
transistorized version of RS AN/PRC 25 as well as the booster.
Till the development of the booster
unit of RS AN/PRC 25, the only VHF set available with 15 watts of radiated
power for obtaining longer communication range was the C42, being used in the
British Army. Four sets were procured
in October 1955 and issued to Technical Development Establishment
(it later became the LRDE) for technical trials and subsequently to 1 Armoured
Divisional Signal Regiment for user trials. The trial report from the unit
received in July 1961 recommended introduction of the set in the Army. A case
was initiated for procurement of quantity 2,000 of this set from BEL, which was
to manufacture the same under licence. Subsequently, BEL incorporated an
improvement in the set for operation from 12 volt DC (for use in B vehicles)
and with 50 KHz channel separation as against the original 100 KHz. Production of the RS C42 was later stopped
when it was decided to replace the equipment by RS AN/PRC 25 with booster
After it was decided to switch over
command links from HF to VHF in 1963, the RS Bangalore 62, a low power HF set used
for regimental communications needed replacement by an indigenous set both as a
backup set to VHF communication as well as for issue in lieu of the VHF set
pending adequate production in the country.
In 1963 the LRDE developed RS HM 30 which was suitable for operation by
a hand/pedal generator in order to cut down logistical problems in the high
altitude areas. Trials were carried out
in ‘R’ Communication Zone Signal Regiment in January 1964. The set was not recommended for acceptance.
However, to make up the acute deficiencies of RS 62, it was decided to procure
2,000 pieces of this set from BEL. The
set was later declared obsolete and replaced by ‘one time’ imported GR345 and
TRA922, both of
origin, and the indigenously produced LHP202 and subsequently by RS HB, a Plan
AREN era equipment.
wireless set that was introduced in armoured units as the companion set of RS
C42 was RS C13, an HF set with phase modulation which gave longer range. Twelve
pieces of RS C13 were procured from M/s British Communication Corporation ( UK ) in January
1958 for use in A vehicles.
Signals is responsible for provision of communications rearward from units up
to brigade and divisional headquarters. The wireless set in general use for
formation level communications was the RS 19 LP/HP. This set had been in use
for several years and needed replacement by a more efficient and reliable set.
The set indentified for this purpose was the RS C11/R210, then in use by the
British Army. In July UK 1955 a statement of case for
procurement of six pieces of RS C11/R210 was initiated along with an FSK
(frequency shift keying) appliqué unit for radio teleprinter working. In
January 1958, information was received that trials conducted in on FSK
operation with RS C11/R210 had not proved satisfactory. The idea of FSK working on the set was
dropped and the indent was accordingly amended.
The RS C11/R210 was found suitable
after trials conducted in January 1961, and a case for bulk procurement of this
set was initiated to replace RS 19 HP and C52.
The set was subsequently formally introduced in service in July 1963 and
an indent for quantity 500 was placed on BEL, which was to produce the set in
the country under collaboration. By
October 1963, the total quantity under indent on BEL was 2,475. However, the production was later halted
when several defects were noticed. A major shortcoming was the very high
battery drain of 23 amperes on ‘send’, which resulted in the requirement of
bigger and a greater number of secondary batteries. In 1972, the RS HC, a Plan AREN era equipment
with better power efficiency and higher power output was developed and began to
replace RS C11/R210.
Till UK 1963, a variety of radio
stations had been procured from
as medium power sets for use in divisions and corps. The two main sets in this category were the
RS 53 ex-UK and SCR 399 ex- USA . Both sets were available in two versions –
mobile and static. The American RS SCR 399
was more popular because of its ruggedness and low fault liability. RS D11/R230, quantity 25 of which had been
received as aid from USA
in 1963, was not found satisfactory due to its high fault liability.
The large variety of equipment posed
problems for procurement and positioning of their spares. To reduce the variety and to minimize the
logistics by dove-tailing the basic design of medium and high power sets, a
search was on for suitable basic equipment in 1962/63. The 400 watt set
developed by M/s Siemens of West Germany was tried in 1963 and was adjudged as
better than RS D11/R230. The firm was
also willing to grant licence for indigenous production within the
country. The set had a number of
advantages over the older types of wireless sets in this category. It provided
both simplex and duplex operation; in addition to RT and CW, it provided
RT-SSB, FSK and FSK with RT-AM; it had better frequency stability because of
frequency synthesis; there was quick change-over from one class of emission to
another and there was a facility of space diversity reception.
In 1965 it was decided to
manufacture RS 400 Watt (Siemens) under licence at BEL. Subsequent development was the complete
transistorisation of the transmitter except for the power amplifier valves and
incorporation of RT-ISB emission in the transmitter. After the introduction of Plan AREN
equipment, the 400 Watt (Siemens) was ultimately replaced by RS HD.
High Power transmitters BC 339L and
ET 4331 (RCA) were procured during World War II from UK for providing long range HF
communications. These sets did not have
the teleprinter and single side band facilities and were used on Static
Wireless Army Network (SWAN). They had
to be phased out after the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) decreed
that all static networks were required to work on SSB. Some pieces of RS-63 procured from the USA during late
1940’s were also held by the RTT sections.
This set was extremely bulky and had restricted mobility. A search was made to find a suitable set to
replace these older types of sets. RS D 13
( UK ), AN/TRC 115 ( Marconi, UK )
and AN/GRC 108 (General Dynamics, Collins, USA ) were considered. The RS D13 was already developed and two sets
were ordered in 1964 for ascertaining their suitability.
At the same time, M/s Siemens of
West Germany had designed a booster unit for the 400 watt medium power radio
station capable of giving 1 KW power output.
Since it had already decided to go in for the 400 watt set based on
Siemens design, it was decided to procure the 1 KW transmitter as well of
Siemens design. The production commenced
in 1965 at BEL and by 1972 about 80 static sets had been inducted.
Mobile high power stations were
authorized to corps signal regiments and some communication zone signal
regiments to bridge communication gaps which could not be covered by medium
power radio stations. Attempts were made
to convert the 1 KW Transmitter (Siemens), which is basically a static station,
into mobile role. However, two major problems were encountered. Firstly, the station had to be accommodated
in one vehicle which was not possible due to the weight and dimensions of the
equipment and its accessories. Secondly,
the transmitter was designed to operate off three-phase power supply which is
not always available in the field. M/s
BEL re-designed the equipment to work on single-phase AC mains. However, the proposition to use only one
vehicle was technically not found feasible and it was agreed to have the entire
station in two vehicles – one 3-ton vehicle for installing the transmitter and
another 1-ton vehicle to accommodate the receiver segment. Two mobile stations were procured, but the
performance of the equipment was not found acceptable. The design of the equipment was also
Transmitters 5 KW are required for
communications over distances beyond the ranges obtained with 1 KW
transmitters. The older versions of such
equipment in service were SWB8X, SWB11E and HS31. These transmitters were imported from USA to provide
RTT and SSB circuits in static role. A
few of these sets were still in service in 1972, but it was difficult to
maintain them for want of spares. In order to have only one family of radio
equipment with the Siemens 400 watt as the basic set, it was decided to induct
Transmitter 5 KW developed by Siemens ( UK ) which would be
indigenously produced by BEL under licence.
Quantity 14 sets had been inducted by 1972. Subsequently, BEL offered an
improved 4 KW transmitter designed by them instead of the Siemens equipment.
After the approval of Plan AREN by
the Government in 1971, orders were placed on BEL, West Germany for development and production of
the complete range of radio equipment that would ultimately replace the
existing sets. Details of the new radio equipment are given below:-5
(platoon sets) to replace VM2 1A, VM2 5A.
(company sets) to replace AN/PRC 25.
(battalion sets) to replace AN/PRC 25 with booster.
to replace HM30 or equivalent.
to replace C11/R210.
to replace Siemens 400W (Mobile).
to replace Siemens 1KW (Mobile).
(light weight) to replace AN/PRC 25 (radio relay).
to replace C41/R222.
to replace FM200.
HRA - medium grade HF receiver
HRB - high grade HF receiver
to Air sets
to replace GU 734
(UA with high power).
relay came to Bangalore
only in the early sixties, though it had been in use in India and USA for several
years. During World War II and for several years thereafter all equipment used
was imported. Also, many signal officers were sent abroad for training. As a
result, developments in India Europe and were
generally known to the Signals Directorate, which tried to obtain the latest
equipment for use in America .
In 1955 it was learned that M/s
Siemens and Halske had produced a transportable six channel radio link system
with pulse modulation (PPM6/400) with frequency coverage 335-420 Mcs. The
use of pulse width modulation gave a very favourable signal-to-noise radio and
low cross-talk values. The system operated with six channels and thus
provided up to six simultaneous telephone conversations each covering a band of
.300 to 3.400 Kcs. Distances of about India 30 miles were covered in a
single hop in reasonably flat country. With relay stations the range
could be increased. The equipment was divided into portable cases,
with no case weighing more than 154
lbs. It could be fitted in a 3 ton vehicle for
mobile use. It was decided to procure the radio link system with two relay
stations for trials to ascertain its suitability for introduction in . 6
Shortly afterwards it was decided to conduct trials on the SPO 50- India 50, a multi-channel radio
relay system then being used by the British Post Office in UK. To conduct the
trials an independent unit - 1 Medium Radio Relay Section - was raised in in 1959 under the
command of Captain A.S. Kahlon. However,
the SPO 50-50, being designed for civilian use, could not meet the stringent
requirements of terrain and climate.
In 1960 eight pieces of RS C41/R222 were
imported from Delhi .
This was developed by ATE Bridgeworth for
the British Army. It was a multi-channel, FM- VHF set with frequency coverage
of 50-100 Mcs and power output of 50 watts. It was used for communicating over
visual or quasi-visual distances of 25- UK 30 miles using a high gain yagi aerial mounted
on a 36 feet
high mast. The range could be increased with the help of relay stations. The
equipment could work as a ground station or mounted in vehicles. It was also
capable of being transported by animals. The complete station could work as a
terminal station or a relay station, with facilities to drop channels at relay
stations. The equipment was compatible
with indigenous multi channel carrier equipment such as ACT (1+1) and ACT (1+4),
as well as voice frequency telegraph equipment such as S+Dx and 3 Channel
Duplex. The system was found suitable
and accepted for induction in the Indian Army.
Additional sets were ordered and received during 1961. Some of these were used during the Goa operations in 1961 and proved their worth.
In 1963 another radio relay equipment FM 12/800 manufactured by M/s
Siemens and Halske of West Germany was procured for trials. During
preliminary examination the equipment worked successfully between and Karnal with
relay stations at Sonepat and Panipat. However, during detailed user trials by
1 Medium Radio Relay Section it was not found suitable for use in the field on
account of its weight. Subsequently, a considerably lighter equipment, FM
12/400, operating in the 400 – 470 Mcs band, which provided 12 voice channels,
was obtained. During trials, it was found that the ‘line of sight’ range was as
good as that obtained with WS C41; with the squelch system provided in the
receiver the background noise was less;
tuning and operation was easier; front-to-back ratio of radiation was low and
aerial alignment was not critical.
The RS FM 12/400 was also tried out in Jammu & Kashmir, where it
was found that although it was lighter than the C41 and was fully
transistorized, it suffered from certain defects. Being crystal controlled, it
could only be used for single channel operation. There was a high back
fire of the aerial, which was conspicuous and could be easily detected from
air. In 1966 comparative trials of FM 12/400, C41/R222 and AN/PRC 25 (in radio
relay role) were conducted in 4 Mountain Divisional Signal Regiment.
In 1968 multi channel radio relay
equipment THC618 offered by a foreign firm was evaluated by Special Signal
Regiment. The equipment operated in the frequency range of 70 – 150
Mcs and provided 640 channels. Trials carried out in Special Signal
Regiment brought out that the set was comparable to RS C41/R222 and offered no
distinct advantage over it except that the aerial mast provided with the
equipment being of pneumatic type was easier to install. The aerial was a
three element yagi with transmitting and receiving arrays mounted at right
angles to each other on the same mast.
In 1968 M/s BEL produced a lighter
version of RS C41/R222. The light weight set known as RS C41/R222 (Modified)
was smaller in size by about 50% and in weight by about 80%. It was housed only
in two cases viz. transmitter and receiver which carried their own power supply
units. The power consumption was also less.
In 1968 another radio relay set FM
200 was received for trials from Siemens. The set was an improved and
transistorized version of FM 12/800, developed for multi channel radio relay
communication for use in rear areas. The frequency coverage was from 225 to 480
Mcs and 810 to 900 Mcs continuously tuneable with channel spacing of 125 Kcs.
It provided Delhi 4/12/24
channels plus one service channel on FDM and PCM/TDM. With power output of
12-20 watts, it gave a range of 35 kilometres. The power supply used was
110/220 volts AC single phase or 24 volts DC with automatic change over from
mains to battery supply. The set was tried out by Special Signal Regiment and
two corps signal regiments and was found to be much superior to RS FM 12/800. Since it fully met our requirements it was
decided to purchase 24 sets immediately from . A case was also taken
up for indigenous manufacture of the sets by BEL in collaboration with M/s
1947, the types of cable in service were the same as those that had been used
during World War II. At the Field Force level, the lines were based on field
cables like D3 and D8, Assault No. 2, 7-pair VIR and carrier quad. Multi air
line cable using cadmium copper wires was authorized for higher formations. The
cable was laid using various types of cable laying equipment from vehicles,
animals or manpack.
In 1950 trials were carried out with
three types of manpack cable layers with the intention of selecting the most
suitable type for the Army’s requirements. These were the Manpack Cable Layer
(German); the Packboard Cable Layer No. 4 developed by Technical Development
Establishment (Instruments & Electronics), Dehradun and the American cable
laying apparatus known as Reel Equipment CE-11. The German type cable layer was
found to be the most suitable, being lighter, easier to handle and faster. It
also had the facility for intercommunication between the layer and the
originating end during the period of laying.
1951 it was decided to discontinue the use of obsolete types of cable layers
and standardize the cable laying apparatus in the Army. The various types of
apparatus cable laying (ACL) that was approved were the ACL No.10, ACL No. 6
(to replace ACL No. 2), ACL No. 6A (for snow covered regions only), ACL No. 11
(to replace ACL No. 3) and ACL No. 8 (for troops equipped with mules).
that time, cable on manpack basis was laid from drums and the process was very
slow and strenuous. In West Germany 1949 a lighter version of
the cable was developed in
which could be laid from a dispenser pack, resulting in greater speed and less
fatigue. The Cable Electric D10 was a
light weight general purpose field cable intended to replace existing D3, D8
and Assault No. 2 cables, for use mainly at divisional headquarters or lower
levels. The cable consisted of three
strands steel and four strands copper, all strands being UK 0.011 inches in
diameter and provided in the form of a twisted pair only. It was insulated with
polythene and sheathed with nylon and was to be supplied in half mile lengths
in dispenser coils, capable of being laid at speeds up to 100 miles per hour. The coils were packed in canvas to withstand
free dropping from air. It was decided to import the D10 cable to replace the
existing types of field cable D3 and D-8. The TDE (I&E), was asked to design winding
machines to enable the coils to be wound in the field.8
the 1962 war, considerable amount of cable was procured from foreign countries.
This included JWD1/TT from Dehra Dun ,
WD1/TT from Japan
and D10 from USA . During preliminary trials they were found
suitable in electrical and mechanical performance, except for some minor
defects. In hot weather the cables became so hot that it was difficult to hold
them in a naked hand; due to their smooth surface and the
cables being thinner than the existing cables, they slipped when pulled for
tying back; except for D10, all other cables had a shining surface
which gave a shine up to a distance of 200 to UK 300 yards in bright
daylight. All these cables had generally the same
electrical and mechanical properties. The cables were subjected to
detailed user trials by 26 Infantry Divisional Signal Regiment. All cables
were found suitable. The range obtained
with existing field telephones was 15 to 16 miles. Speed when
laid by hand was 2 miles
per hour and when laid from a vehicle with ACL No. 11 was 3 to 4 miles per hour.
manufacture of WD1 and D10 cable was subsequently taken up at the Ordnance
Cable Factory, .
By 1965 the position of field cable had improved and it was decided decontrol
field cable D3, D8 and assault cable and use the existing holdings of these
cables for training. The hard scales in
respect of cable were removed and additional issue of up to 50 percent of
authorisation in respect of WD1 and D10 cable was also approved for training to
1967 it was decided to rationalise the authorization and holding of the four
types of carrier quad cable viz. P Mk I, P Mk 2, P Mk 3 and heavy duty
Bulgarian P 270. The Bulgarian heavy duty cable was considered most suitable
for corps arteries and was authorised to brick type line sections. It was also
issued to medium radio relay sections and command signal regiments. P Mk 3 was
suitable for divisional arteries and issued to divisional signal regiments. The
P Mk 1 and 2 being old and unreliable were utilised for providing carrier tails
at division, corps and communication zone headquarters.9
Cable Carrier Quad Type ‘P’ Mk 3 also began to
be manufactured at the Ordnance Cable Factory, Chandigarh from 1969 onwards. Another cable that was introduced at the same
time was light weight communication quad cable. This was tried out in Special
Signal Regiment along with couplers and loading pots and found satisfactory. The cable had four copper and three steel
strands. About Chandigarh 400 metres
of cable were bound on one drum. The cable had excellent electric
characteristics with very low attenuation, high insulation resistance and a cut
off frequency of 30 KHz when loaded.
Before the commencement of the 1971
war, action was taken to make up the deficiencies of cable and also cater for
the likely operations in East Pakistan where
additional lines would have to be laid behind the advancing troops. Cable Carrier Quad P 270 was imported from in Bulgaria 1971. In addition large
quantities of cable were ordered from indigenous sources. This included an order of 44,000 kilometres
of cable WD1 and 1400
kilometres of cable carrier quad 1A on Ordnance Cable
In addition, an order for Chandigarh 500 kilometres of Cable 10 pairs plastic was
placed on M/s Indian Cable Company.
1947 the various types of exchanges and telephones in service were as under:-
Switchboard (F & F) 20, 40 and
60 Line This was a general purpose magneto switchboard for
use in the field. The capacity could be
20, 40 or 60 lines according to the requirement. It had the facility for
conference calls and the junctions could work to magneto, CB and auto
Switchboard Magneto 10 Line (WD) A portable magneto switchboard for use in
units and smaller headquarters. It was very rugged and could be used in any
climate or weather. It was used with a telephone set L or equivalent.
Exchange Magneto (WD) Unit Type N
Positions A magneto exchange that provided 50 magneto
extensions and 10 universal exchange lines per position. It could be built up
to a maximum of 300 magneto extensions and 60 universal exchange lines.
Exchange CB Multiple (WD) Unit Type
N Positions A central battery exchange for use at
large headquarters; it was capable of providing 50 extensions and 10 junction
lines. The maximum capacity of the exchange was 900 extensions and 50 junction
Telephone Set J A light weight tropicalised field telephone
for use with magneto or CB exchanges or
point to point circuits. It gave a range of 18-
Command 200 Line This was a magneto type switchboard with
conference facilities for use at larger headquarters. It could accommodate
20 junctions and 180 extensions, the former being able to work to any type
of exchange e.g. magneto, CB and auto.
20 miles on D8 and 13- 15 miles on D3 cable. It
was housed in a sheet metal case and was designed to be immersion proof.
Telephone Set L A portable set for use in forward areas and by
linemen. Ranges obtained were slightly less than those from Telephone Set J,
which replaced it.
Telephone Set TP-6 This was designed for use on common battery
lines of corps and army headquarters. It was similar to a commercial telephone
but was treated for tropical use. It could operate over a 30 db net loss
Telephone Set EE8, EE8A and EE8B This
was a compact, rugged and portable American field telephone that could work on
CB and magneto. It was carried in a leather/nylon/canvas case with straps and
could work on a line with 30 db loss.
Set F A portable telephone that could be used with magneto or CB
switchboards. It gave ranges of 14- 16 miles on D8 and 8- 10 miles on D3 cable. A
buzzer or magneto generator was used for calling.
Telephone Set F (HP)
The telephone was provided with an amplifier unit which increased its range two
and a half times.
Tele Set ‘F’ Mk-II TMC
was almost no change in switchboards and telephones until the early sixties,
when some equipment was procured from abroad. This included the 40 lines
switchboard manufactured by M/s Ericsson of Sweden. Known as the AMB 1012, this
exchange used the latest technology such as spring loaded cords and had a very
low insertion loss of .25 db. It was housed in slip-in type units complete with
speaking, ringing and clearing circuits. Another switchboard produced by
Ericsson was the 12 line AEM 1022 which had similar facilities. Two switchboards imported from were the
30-60 line SB 86 and 12 line SB 22.
manufacture was also started at the same time. The Switchboard Field 1A, a 40
line single position switchboard that was to replace the F & F, was
fabricated by the P&T Workshop, UK .
It was rather bulky ( Jabalpur 132 Kg.)
compared to the Ericsson 40 line whose weight was only 57 Kg. However, in view of
the shortages of switchboards it was decided to induct the equipment in
service. By 1967 over 400 pieces of Switchboard Field 1A had been procured. A
12 line magneto switchboard designed by the Electronics Research and Development
Establishment (LRDE) was also tried and found acceptable.
Telephone TA/PT-1 (Sound Power) was procured from the . A field
telephone was developed by ITI to replace the existing field telephones. Trials
carried out by Special Signal Regiment and 26 Infantry Divisional Signal
Regiment in 1964 found that the telephone apart from being comparatively
heavier did not give adequate range. Hence it was not accepted. However, the
field telephone manufactured by Bell of Belgium was found suitable. Switchboards
TU 11 (10 lines) and TU 21 (20 lines) were imported from UK
and the M194-M (40 lines) from the Czechoslovakia for trials in 1965. TU 11 was
not found suitable and rejected. However, the TU 21 and M194-M were found
The transistorized Repeater Field Telephone No 1 was designed by
LRDE in 1966 based on the design of the equipment received earlier for trials
from USSR .
An order was placed for 200 pieces to make up the deficiency of Telephones F
(HP) and Amplifiers Field Telephone, which would be replaced by this
equipment. The utility of this equipment was however different from those
it was replacing. Whereas Telephones F(HP) and Amplifiers Field Telephone
were individual subscriber equipments, the Repeater Field Telephone No. 1 could only be used between exchanges and was thus a
common subscriber equipment. 10
1967 the Indian telephone Industries (ITI) developed a new telephone set that
gave a range of 30- UK 40 kilometres
on all types of cable. The telephone was subjected to trials in two infantry
divisional signals regiments and found acceptable. A manual 40 line switchboard
developed by ITI was also subjected to intensive trials in an infantry
divisional signal regiment, but its performance was found to be inferior to
that of the switchboard F&F and switchboard Field 1A. Hence it was not
recommended for introduction into service. In 1968 a 15 line switchboard
developed by LRDE Bangalore was made available for trials. It had a low
insertion loss of .3 db and its capacity could be increased to 30 lines.
However, its performance as not found to be satisfactory.
In 1970 it was decided to authorize
the ITI field telephone and the magneto telephone to all units. An order of
8340 field telephones was placed to cater for the requirements during the next
five years. Meanwhile the indigenous Switchboard Magneto 50 lines (Ericsson)
had been cleared for production in 1971. Deliveries of this exchange started in
1972. Simultaneously, orders were placed on M/s Ericsson for 1000 pieces of
their 15 line exchange. A 15 line cordless exchange developed by LRDE was also
accepted, though it had certain limitations for use in the field and could be
used in vehicular role only.
Telephone exchange in Calcutta, July 1971
Other than exchanges, telephones and
teleprinters, various types of equipment were in use for deriving additional
telephone and telegraph circuits on trunk lines. Some of the equipment in use
in 1947 was as given below:-
Selective Carrier No. 1 This provided a point to point circuit
on a open wire route. It used 28 spot frequencies and 14 circuits could be
set up simultaneously on the same route without mutual interference. The
at lower frequencies and 20
miles at higher frequencies. The ACT (1+4) could be
used simultaneously on the same pair of wires.
- Apparatus Carrier Telephone (1+1) This provided an additional speech
circuit on open wire lines, unloaded or lightly loaded cables with cut off
frequency above 9 Kcs. It had an output of +18 db and a range of 5 db for
the carrier circuit over line with attenuation of 46 db at 9 Kcs.
- Apparatus Carrier Telephone (1+4)
This provided one audio and four carrier channels over two or four wire
lines. The output was + 5 db and the range was 3 db on carrier circuit
over two wire line of attenuation 40 db at 40 Kcs or four wire line with
attenuation 42 db at 16 Kcs.
- Apparatus Carrier Telephone 3-Channel
Types SAS & SAT These provided high grade permanent long
distance communications giving one audio and three carrier circuits over a
two wire physical line. The output was +17 db and the range was 0 db over
a line with uniform attenuation of 34 db at 30 Kcs.
- Apparatus Voice Frequency Telegraph
provided simultaneous telephone and telegraph duplex channel over a
physical or carrier telephone circuit. It could be used over a line of 50
db attenuation at 1.9 Kcs. 1949 a new version of the
ACT 3-Channel SAS/SAT system known as SUS/SUT was subjected to bench trials at Eastern Court,
Central Telegraph Office, ,
under supervision of the manufacturers Automatic Telephones Equipment (ATE), New Delhi Liverpool. The equipment was identical in purpose to
SAS/SAT, and the same carrier frequencies had been used for the 3 channels in
each case. However, the equipment had been reduced in size to one 10 ft. 6 in. high bay instead of
three 8 ft.
bays that were used for SAS/SAT. The bench trials were successful.
However, the P & T Department preferred Standard Telephones and Cable
Limited equipment to that of ATE, because the former had been found more
reliable and its supply of spares was more regular. Manufacturers of ATE
offered to mount SUS/SUT equipment in two or three bays of smaller size in
lorries for use by the Army.
Another piece of
equipment evaluated at this time was the Two Tone Voice Frequency Carrier
Telegraph System of Standard Telephones and Cables Limited. This system
converted double current telegraph signals into voice frequency tones suitable
for modulating a radio carrier wave and similarly converted tones from the
output of a radio receiver into double current signals which could be
associated with a teleprinter or with any other telegraph instrument up to a
maximum speed of 75 bauds. A maximum of 18 carrier frequencies were
available spaced 120 cycles apart, the lowest being 420 cycles and the highest 2460 cycles. These
corresponded to the 18-channel VFT system that was in extensive use in this
country. Thus a maximum of nine 2-tone channels could be obtained for
working over radio links, or a suitable combination of 2 and 4-tone channels
could be worked, e.g. five 2-tone channels and two 4-tone channels.11
In January 1963
channelling equipment for radio relay working Carrier
Telephone Terminal ACT (1+4) was received from M/s Radio Engineering
The equipment comprised Telephone Carrier Terminal TA 5006; Group Modem F 35700
and Communication Patching Panel SB 611/MRC. The equipment was capable of providing up to
24 channels in frequency range of .3 to 116 Kcs and had a range of approx Canada 40 miles on spiral four
cable on 4-channel working. Accelerated trials carried out revealed
that the equipment was lighter and more compact than any of the carrier
equipments in use. It was recommended that 250 pieces of the equipment be
for the medium radio relay sections.
Telegraph Regenerative Repeater DE- 229000/1 to remove
distortion effects of land lines and wireless links was developed by ITI at
this time. The equipment was designed for insertion in telegraph circuits to
correct distortion and send out fresh distortion-less signals at the correct
speed. A case for the procurement of the equipment for trials to assess
its suitability for Army was initiated.
Staff Policy Statement of 76 (Issue No 2) of 1961 specified that carrier
equipment such as ACT (1+4) and ACT (1+1) and voice frequency telegraph
equipment such as S+Dx would be used at formation headquarters down to brigade
level. Within two years the requirement of the number of channels visualized
to be provided by Apparatus VFT and ACT, vide GSPS No 76 (Issue No 2) had to be revised to cater for 6/12 and 2/24
channels respectively, instead of 4/16 channels in both cases. This
became necessary because the Apparatus VFT as visualized in the GSPS was
required to work at speeds up to 100 bauds for rapid clearance of
traffic. To work the telegraph equipment at this speed, the bandwidth
required as per CCITT recommendations was such that it was possible to obtain
only 12 and 6 interference free channels on 4 wire and 2 wire basis
respectively. As for the ACT, the amendment aimed at bringing future carrier
equipment in line with other telephone carrier equipments developed and
manufactured by technologically advanced countries and the equipment of P&T
pattern. These equipments, with the help of group modulation units, could
build up to 12 or 24 channels and multiples of 12 channels. The revised
GSPS was amended to guide development of future carrier equipment which should
be capable of providing Canada 4/12/24
In 1964 the
Tactical Communications Committee recommended that radio relay with associated
carrier equipment be authorised to all mountain divisions. A year later this
was authorised to infantry divisions as well. These decisions gave a fillip to
the design and production of line equipment in the country. The ITI and LRDE,
which were mainly responsible for the design of line equipment, were also given
the task of producing lighter and more rugged versions of the equipment already
in use by the Army.
1965 both LRDE and ITI had designed and fabricated transistorized versions of
Apparatus VFT ( S+Dx) against the General Staff
requirement for the existing equipment to be replaced by really light and
compact equipment. Preliminary examination of the equipments carried out
by Special Signal Regiment revealed that both equipments were likely to meet
our requirements. Simultaneous Phase 1 trials were conducted by IV Corps
Signal Regiment, followed by Phase 2 trials at the .
The equipment was found acceptable and cleared for introduction into service.
In 1966 orders were placed for the supply of ACTT
(1+4+4) quantity 56; group modem quantity 50 and VF
attachments quantity 304. The components for the ACTT (1+4+4) were
already available in the country and the equipment was being assembled in 509
Central EME Workshop School of Signals
while the group modems and VF attachments were being imported from Agra .
The VF attachments were for use with the ACTT 1+4+4 which provided one physical
speech channel of reduced band width,
four carrier speech channels and four VFT channels. The
output at the terminals of the four VFT channels was available in the form of
VF tones, and not DC. These VF tones were converted by the VF attachment
into DC Signals for the teleprinter. In turn the DC signals from the
teleprinter were converted into VF tones by the VF attachment.
1967 production models of transistorized ACT (1+1) and ACT (1+4) were made
available by ITI for troop trials. Phase I trials were conducted in
Special Signal Regiment and Phase II and Phase III trials in two corps signal
regiments and selected divisional signal regiments. The equipment performed well during troop
trials and was cleared for introduction into service. Production of these
equipments commenced in 1968 but it was only in 1970-71 that they began to
reach the units.
1968 prototypes of group modem developed by ITI were made available for trials,
which were conducted in Special Signal Regiment. The equipment provided 3+12+12
channels on radio relay path or carrier quad cable in conjunction with three
each of ACT (1+4) 3A and Apparatus 4 channel Telegraph (ITI).
the troops trials of ACT (1+4) 3A some discrepancies were noticed in the
performance of the equipment while working on radio relay system C41/R222. The
reasons for these were investigated by a team of engineers from ITI attached to
Special Signal Regiment. As a result of this, a suggested procedure for lining
up the radio relay system while mounting ACT (1+4) 3A was issued by Army HQ in
February 1970. This was also issued as an Appendix to the User Hand Book on ACT
(1+4) 3A. Proving trials of the equipment on radio relay were conducted
in Special Signal Regiment, I Corps Signal Regiment and XI Corps Signal
Regiment to assess the performance of the equipment in light of lining up
procedures issued by ITI.
1971 the transistorised versions of ACT (1+4) 3A, ACT (1+1)1A and App VFT ( Canada S+Dx) 4A had reached the units but the quantities were
small. For example, the authorised/held quantities of the three equipments in
divisional signal regiments were 50/8, 75/6 and 100/8. The situation in corps
signal regiments was slightly better, where the figures of authorised/held
quantities were 50/18-24, 50/12 and 60/12-14 respectively. However, it was
ensured that each field unit would have a minimum of two pieces of each
& Fuller Phones
the time of ,
there were basically two pieces of equipment that were used for transmission of
telegraph signals - the fuller phone and the teleprinter. The Fuller Phone Mk 4
was a portable direct current telegraph instrument for use in forward areas
that was practically immune from interception. It was highly sensitive and
provided reliable communications at extremely low currents of 2-5 micro
amperes. It could be used over twin lines or a single line and earth return. It
could also be used on a simple series superposed circuit or superposed phantom
circuit. Under field conditions it gave a range of 15- Independence 20 miles which could be
increased many times over PL. Several models of the instrument were available,
with additional facilities. The Mk 4* was fitted with radio suppression to
reduce the possibility of radio interception. The Mk 5 had a tropical finish
and was fitted with a crash limiter which reduced acoustic shock from ringing
currents when a telephone was used in series. The Mk 6 was fitted in a metal
case and was immersion proof and tropicalised.
In addition to Signals, fuller phones were authorized to Infantry and Artillery
Teleprinter 7B (WD) provided a means for rapid and accurate transmission of
intelligence over land line and wireless. It was an automatic telegraph machine
that used the start-stop principle and employed the code.
It could be used on single wire and earth, 2-wire or 2-wire and earth
return circuits. The Teleprinter 7B (WD) used a power supply of 24 volts DC for
the motor and 12+12 or 80+80 volts (depending on the line condition) for telegraph signalling. The speed was 50
bauds or 66 words per minute. It had a
keyboard similar to that of a typewriter and could be operated by a typist. The
teleprinter was used by Signals and authorized to almost all signal units from
In Murray 1950, a
new teleprinter was offered by M/s Creed, a British firm. Two versions of the Teleprinter Creed Type 50 were offered,
one for base use and the other for relatively forward areas. Both sought
to overcome errors due to omission from the transmission of ‘line feed’ or
‘carriage return’ signals. They were to be smaller and lighter than
earlier models. The specifications required them to operate for 1000
hours without adjustment and 5000 hours without major overhaul. The
project was then still in the early stages and it was not known when the
teleprinters would be produced.
In 1956 The Government decided to establish a teleprinter factory in
. The proposed factory would also satisfy the
requirements of Army in respect of teleprinters and ancillaries. In order to
find out the latest techniques used in the manufacture of such machines so as
to produce a suitable qualitative requirement (QR) on teleprinters and other
five unit code machines, it was decided to import a few pieces of equipment for
trials. Accordingly, two models of teleprinters were obtained from Siemens and India . These were the Tape Teleprinter
Type 68 and Page Teleprinter Type 37, along with a Tape Transmitter.
obtained from Creed for user/technical trials was the perforator typewriter
which has been developed in Halske, West
With the existing perforators it was not possible to obtain local record copy
and as such correctness or otherwise of punched tape could not be ascertained
at the time of punching. With a perforated typewriter a local copy
simultaneously with the punched tape was obtained. The typewriter keyboard
was simpler than the teleprinter keyboard. Its operation would also be
easier with the result that the traffic clearance capacity of an operator would
increase. The machine would be useful in static signal offices where the
traffic load was heavy.
Along with the Creed
perforator typewriter the Cocoqulet
teleprinter produced by Ateliers de Construction Electriquits, UK
was also requisitioned for trials from the British concessionaires, Pye
Telecommunications, Charleroi, Belgium . The
teleprinter used a 32 character system similar to the Murray Code. The speed of transmission was 50 bauds. The
special advantages of the system were reduced distortion, better immunity
to interference, slow fading and selective fading.
the decision to establish a teleprinter factory in Cambridge had been taken in 1956, it
was only in 1962 that it bore fruit. The two firms in contention were Siemens
of Germany and Olivetti of Italy. There is an interesting story of how the
matter was decided. The SO-in-C, Major General R.N. Batra gave a presentation
to the then Defence Minister, Mr. V.K. Krishna Menon, on the various types of
equipment to be purchased for the Army. Also in attendance were the Army Chief,
the Defence Secretary and the Financial Advisor. Since teleprinters were needed
by Defence as well as the Department of Posts and Telegraphs, the SO-in-C
recommended that both departments should procure the same model, for the sake
of standardization He gave a number of reasons to support his view, such as
economy in production, repairs and training. After hearing him out the Defence
Minister said, “I will not have the
teleprinter in Defence that the ‘Postman’ is going to have. If they go in for
Siemens, we will have Olivetti, and vice versa.”
Fortunately, the 1962 war erupted
soon afterwards and Krishna Menon had to resign. Wiser counsels prevailed and
Olivetti was selected for Defence as well as the Department of Posts and
Telegraphs. The new factory of Hindustan Teleprinters Ltd. was set up at India in collaboration
with Olivetti and started production in 1963. The first model produced was the
Teleprinter T2CN (Olivetti). Shortly afterwards, a ruggedized version known as Teleprinter T2CNF (Olivetti)
was produced for use in field units of the Army.
The Teleprinter 3A (T2B-CN) and Teleprinter 4A (T2B-CNF) began to be
issued to units in 1966. Shortly afterwards, two new models known as the T2BSN
and T2BSNF were designed for exclusive use of the Army. The Teleprinter 5A
(T2BSN) began to be issued to units in 1969, while the first batch of
Teleprinter 6A (T2BSNF) was issued a year later in 1970. However, the rate of
production was very slow. The supply of
field teleprinters was about 500 every year, while that of static teleprinters
was only 100 each year. It was estimated that the complete requirement of
teleprinters would be met only by 1975. Accordingly, units were advised to
continue using the older Teleprinters 7B (WD) and GPO Mains until they became
unserviceable and beyond economic repair. 14
Equipment & Batteries
All electronic devices need
electrical power. Depending on the size and complexity of the equipment, the
power can be supplied by primary cells, secondary batteries or generators. In
addition, charging sets are needed for charging secondary batteries. Some of
the power equipments in use in 1947 were as under:-
Set 60 W No. 1
This was pedal driven charging set with an output of 4 amperes at 15
volts. It was used with WS 22, 62 and 76.
Set 80 W A light weight charging
set that used petrol as fuel and gave an output of 18 volts DC. It was used
with WS 62 and 76/R209.
Set 300 W Johnson Chorehouse CHI 395.5 A petrol driven air-cooled charging set that gave an output of 15 volts DC.
Set 550 W No. Madras 1 A petrol
driven air-cooled charging set that gave an output of 18 volts DC. The No. 2
model also had a switchboard. The Charging Set 550 W SCR 169 was smaller in
size and lighter, with the output voltage being 32 volts DC.
Set 1260 W No. 1
A petrol driven air-cooled charging set with 35 volts DC output and a
switchboard. The No. 2 model had the same characteristics except that the
voltage that could be varied from 18 to 36 volts.
Set 4 KW Lister A petrol driven air-cooled charging set
that delivered 80-125 volts DC.
Set 2 KVA Onan A petrol driven air-cooled generator
that delivered 230 volts AC at 60 cycles. It was used with WS 36.
Set 3 KVA Onan This was a petrol driven water-cooled
generator that delivered 230 volts AC at 60 cycles. It formed part of WS 10 and
WS 53 stations.
Set EDC 3.5 KVA This was a petrol driven water-cooled
generator that delivered 230 volts AC at 50 cycles. It was used with WS 53.
Set 15 KVA Lister A diesel driven water-cooled generator
that delivered 230 volts AC at 50/60 cycles. It was carried in a two wheeled 1
ton trailer and used with WS 63.
Set PE-75 This was a 2.5 KVA petrol driven
air-cooled generator of American origin that delivered 115 volts AC at 60 cycles.
It had to be started by hand and was used with a large number of American radio
sets of the AN/TRC and SCR series.
Set PE- 95 A
to D These 5 KVA
petrol driven air-cooled generators delivered 115 volts AC at 60 cycles. They
had electric starters and were used with the SCR 299, 696 and 698. The G and H
models had an output of 5-10 KVA at 115-230 volts. They were used with SCR 299,
399 and 499.
batteries of various types were used for wireless sets. There was an acute
shortage of ‘battle batteries’ used with WS 38 and 48 in the early years and it
was decided to declare this item as rationed. Under the rationing
scheme, a bulk allotment was made to commands every quarter at the scale of 12
batteries per set on operational tasks and three batteries per set under
training. Indigenous production was started in December 1947 and 4,000 each of
battle batteries for WS 38 and 48 were produced.
During the war
the ‘Ruben Mallory’ type dry battery had been designed in and used
with the VCR 300 set which was similar to the British WS 18 and 38. The War
Office in USA
had adopted this design in 1946 and started making dry batteries that were sent
to all theatres for trials. 60 batteries were sent to UK by air
and 60 were despatched by sea in March 1947. Trials were conducted on the
batteries that arrived by air at the India , Mhow with WS 38
under normal working conditions. It was noticed that the shelf life of
these batteries was very low. The time lag between the date of manufacture and
their arrival at Ordnance Depot in ISC
School needed to be greatly reduced,
to prevent deterioration ‘on the shelf’.
of the 60 batteries sent to India
by sea, 39 were found to be unserviceable on arrival (their life then being 8
to 10 months) and others were rapidly deteriorating. When this was
reported to the War Office it was learned that the batteries sent were the
first of this type produced in India
and were not expected to be perfect in the first instance. A fresh lot was
despatched to Britain
in December 1947. These were sent directly to units with a questionnaire
for their comments and feedback.
By 1949 the position of battle
batteries had improved considerably and instructions were issued to make full
use of these battle batteries both for operational and training purposes. However, due to their shelf life being 9 - 12
months, it was noticed that large quantities of battle batteries were becoming
unserviceable whilst in storage. Within
six months approximately 17,000 batteries became unserviceable while lying in
storage, involving financial loss to the extent of Rs. 3,54,000.
production of dry batteries in India also started around 1950. The
firms in India
could produce only ‘Can’ type batteries and not the ‘Layer’ type, which were
more compact, lighter and had greater shelf life. The two firms which had
been meeting service requirements of dry batteries were M/s Estrella Batteries
Limited and National Carbon Company. They were approached to produce
‘Layer’ type batteries but expressed their inability to do
so. Meanwhile TDE (I & E) Dehradun succeeded in producing a
‘Layer’ type battery and arrangements were made for the manufacture of such
batteries in the Ordnance Factory. The rate of production of batteries
162/3 volts was expected to be 1000 per month. The Ordnance Factory also
undertook to manufacture batteries 90/1.5 volts used with WS 88. Production
of these batteries was expected to commence towards the end of the year
1951. The number of dry batteries, which could be produced in the
Ordnance Factory, Dehradun was limited, due to shortage of accommodation.
In view of the very large number of dry batteries of various types needed, it
was recommended that an Ordnance factory be established to produce dry
There were not many changes in the
charging sets and generators being used during the 1950s. As in the case of
other equipment, it was only in the early sixties that several new models were
developed. The 150 watt constant current
petrol/kerosene charging set was intended to be used for charging secondary
batteries of low power wireless stations in forward areas. It would replace the
Charging Set 80 watt. The Charging Set 500 watt was also developed for charging
secondary batteries of low power wireless sets and was to replace the Charging
Set 300 watt. The Charging Set 2 KW was to
replace the Charging Set 1260 watt. The Charging Set 5.4 KW was developed as an
interim replacement for the Charging Set 6 KW. In the category of generators,
the Generating Set 3.5 KVA was developed as a replacement of all existing
generating sets in the power output range of 2 to 3.5 KVA.15
In 1963 two portable charging sets were received from the India for trials.
The Generating Set Tiny Tiger No 302 was a small portable
manpack generator/charging set, with an output of 0.6 amperes at 250 volts
AC or 12.2 amperes at 12 volts DC. Out of the 12 sets examined by the Signals
Trials and Demonstration Unit, two failed after 50 hours running due to heavy
carbonization. The Charging Set 150 watt ( USA ) was tried by the same unit and
also failed due to the same reason.
that time the batteries being used with WS VM50 were the 12 volt, 20 ampere-hour
silver zinc type, at the scale of one battery per set. The silver zinc
batteries were non-spillable and came in a foam case provided with a shoulder
strap attached to a cane basket for easy carriage. The battery was extremely
sensitive as regards the charging rate and specific gravity and was frequently
damaged due to negligence. The problem was overcome in 1964 with the
introduction of the Battery Secondary 12 volt, 20 ampere-hour of indigenous
manufacture, which replaced the existing batteries 12 volt, 14 ampere-hour and
12 volt, 22 ampere-hour. However, since the rate of supply was very slow,
these batteries were issued only to units holding WS VM50 and WS USA 62 in the first instance.
the authorization of radio relay equipment to divisions the issue of suitable
power equipment for the WS C41/R222 had to be decided. Since the Power
Unit PE-75 was lighter as compared to Generating Set 3 KVA/3.5 KVA and could be
broken up into mule loads, it was decided that radio relay sections forming
part of mountain divisional signal regiments would be issued PE-75 while
medium radio relay sections would use the Generating Set 3 KVA/ 3.5
KVA . Subsequently, the holdings of Generating Sets 3 KVA/ 3.5
KVA were rationalised within commands. The bulky and a heavy generating
sets such as the 3.5 KVA Lister/Coventry Climax were issued to command, corps
and communication zone signal regiments, while the lighter generating sets in
this category were issued to divisional signal regiments.
In 1967 a new policy was issued
regarding the various types of charging sets to be used with low power
radio stations in the interim period and at the final. The salient points were
as given below:-
of Radio Station Type
of Charging Set
RS 62 (Manpack) 80
RS HM 30, 62 (TPSU), R105D 80 W/150 W 150 W
with booster, VM-50,
733 and GR 345
S76/R209, BE 201, CN 348, 150 W/300
W 150 W
(Rotary) and AN/GRC-9
RS 19, C11/R210, C42, C52, 300 W 500W
C-13, R112, R113 and GR 345
It was also decided
that the project for development of Charging Set 8 KW as visualized in GSPS No
81 would be closed, since the requirement could be met by Charging Set 6 KW
that was under production. It was also
felt that the various types of heavier generating sets in the range of 10-18
KVA could be rationalised. Since the Generating Set 12.5 KVA could meet the
power supply needs of all field signal units, it was proposed that this should
be standardized, as a replacement for the Generating Set 15 KVA, 17 KVA (or
18.75 KVA) in addition to Generating Sets PE-95 and 9 KVA.
In 1968 the policy
regarding Generating Sets 3.5 KVA had to be reviewed after it was brought
out during trials of 400 Watt Mobile station that a power source of 3.5 KVA is
not quite adequate. Further for radio relay station a generating set of 2
KVA capacity was adequate both from the point of view of power rating as well
as of weight and size. The development of the 3.5 KVA generator was not
making headway due to non availability of an indigenously produced prime mover,
where as feasibility of the indigenous production of 2 KVA existed. Hence, it
was decided to amend the GSPS No 81 so as to change the requirement of generating
set 3.5 KVA to one of 4 KVA and include the requirement of generating set 2
order to diversify the sources of production/supply of the Charging Set 150
Watt (Indigenous) and to complete existing deficiencies expeditiously,
letters of intent for the supply of 500 pieces were placed on three different
firms in 1968. These were M/s J. Stone & Co,
, M/s Aviquipo, Calcutta and M/s Calcutta Beni,
first two firms would use the indigenous Villiers engine while M/s Calcutta Beni would use the indigenous Veegal engine.
At this time M/s
Kirloskar Electric Co. Ltd. developed a lighter and much improved version of
the Generating set 5.5 KW installed on a 1-Ton, 2-wheeled GS Trailer. The
complete set including engine, alternator, control and charging cubical,
accessories and tool box were mounted on a common slid base, making it one
compact unit. The set gave an AC output of 8 KVA at 230 volts single phase and
DC output of 5.5 KW at 15-110 volts, in three different circuits. The
control and rectifier units could also be used as a static charger from AC
mains where available.
In 1970 the prototype Generating Set 11.25 KVA developed
by LRDE was received for trials. The generating set had been designed as a
power source for both ground and trailer mounted roles for supplying single
phase AC power to radio sets, field equipment and lighting of divisional and
corps headquarters. During preliminary trials in Special Signal Regiment the
performance of the set was found generally satisfactory. The equipment was then
sent to a field unit where it performed well and was accepted.
By the end of
1972, various types of power equipment were being produced by a number of
Indian companies. The Charging Set 150 Watt was being made by M/s
Intercontinental Agencies, M/s Beni and M/s
Dasani Engineers (P) Ltd. The Charging Set 500 Watt was being supplied by
M/s Aviquipo and M/s Beni. Orders for Charging Sets 2 KW had been
placed on the Viman Engineering Co as well as Beni.
Charging Set 5.5 KW was being manufactured by Kirloskars. Generating Sets 4 KVA were being produced by
M/s Beni, Viman and Siemens. The Generating Set 11.25 KVA developed by
LRDE in collaboration with M/s Parrys was being manufactured by the latter and
M/s Greaves Cotton, who were also supplying the Generating Set 18.75 KVA.
to the end of World War, the only crypto equipment in use in was the
Machine Type ‘X’, though several countries had made rapid strides in the use of
mechanical and electrical machines for on line encryption and decryption of
classified messages. The story of Enigma, developed by India has
been described by F.W. Winterbotham’s in his book Ultra Secret and in Peter Calvocoressi’s Top
Secret Ultra, both published in 1974. Germany had broken the code being
used on Enigma, and was able to get advance information of German plans
throughout the war.
At the time of Britain ,
Indians were handling all types of equipment in use in the Corps with the
exception of cryptographic devices, which were the exclusive preserve of
British personnel. It was only after 1947 that Indian cipher operators started
operating the Machine Type ‘X’, which was used for mechanical enciphering and
deciphering of classified messages. These were used at divisional headquarters
and above only. At brigade headquarters and below, messages were
enciphered in book cipher. It was only in 1955 that action was initiated
to procure Hagelin Cryptographer Type C52B and CX52B machines for trials to
replace low grade cipher (Linex). These machines were electrically
operated but could also be hand operated. The major advantages of this
machine over the low grade cipher in use were that it was less tedious and
easier to operate; was quicker in enciphering/deciphering (200 groups per hour
could be enciphered and 250 groups per hour could be deciphered as compared to
Linex where only 120 groups per hour could be enciphered and 150 groups
deciphered); and that it was portable, being lighter in weight and smaller in
Another machine that was obtained for trials was the Portex Literal Cipher Machine. This was
a small hand operated off-line, tape printing cipher machine, with alphabet
wheel input, designed for use at lower headquarters. It had an electrical
permuting maze operated from a self-contained 45-volt dry battery good for over
100,000 operations. The speed was 10 words per minute. The
cryptographic unit consisted of an eight 26-point rotor maze with a crossover
at the cipher end. Each rotor consisted of an insert and a housing. The
insert was selected from a set of sixteen and could be fitted in the housing in
any one of twenty-six possible angular positions; the housing was fitted with a
rotatable alphabet type.
In 1956 the Machine Type ‘X’
Modified 80+80 Signalling was
subjected to trials by 1 Army HQ Signal Regiment. Subsequently a
statement of case for modification of ‘On the Line Cipher Machine’ to
incorporate the facility of tape relay working was submitted to the
Modification Sub Committee and approved in 1957.
In 1962 infantry brigade signal sections were authorised one
Machine Type ‘X’ each. However, due to shortage of this equipment, it could not
be issued to all infantry brigade signal sections. A year later the EME
demonstrated the first ‘On Line
Cipher Machine’ at the Army HQ signal centre. The existing Machine Type ‘X’ was modified
for ‘On Line’ working by using the existing auto-head and punching unit. This
increased its traffic clearance capacity. It also had the facility of getting
the crypt and punched tape simultaneously for multi address messages and
obtaining corrections during transmission, thereby avoiding check and repeat
messages and subsequent delays.
1963 the Air Force demonstrated a machine Type X Mk 2, modified as Mk 22, using
the available cross over units. These were tried out along with the
original Machines Type X Mk 22 imported from the Independence . It was found that the
performance of the modified machines was quite good. Shortly afterwards 300
pieces of Machine Type X Mk 22 were received from the UK under the
‘Aid Programme’. These could be issued to ‘aided’ units only, the requirement
of ‘non-aided’ units being met by conversion of Mk II machines to Mk 22 at the
509 Central EME Workshop, UK . It
was expected that by end of 1965 all units would be issued with the new
machines. However, it was only in 1967 that Machine Type ‘X’ Mk 22 was
introduced into service.
In 1966 Model 1 of Equipment ‘X’ (On Line Cipher
Machine) was developed by Defence Electronics Research Laboratory (DLRL) Agra and issued to
units for trials. The first ten electronic cipher machines ex DLRL Defence
known as Equipment Cipher Line 1A were distributed to Army HQ Signals and
command signal regiments in early 1968. Two months later, another ten
pieces were received and issued to command and corps signal regiments in
addition to MCTE.18
In 1968 two prototypes of the
Equipment Cipher Line Mk II developed by DLRL were made available for
trials. This machine was smaller, lighter, more compact and had many new
features for improved reliability and maintainability. It had better and
cheaper switches than those used in Mk 1 version of the machine. The
machine was fully compatible with the older Mk I version in regard to the
performance in electrical circuit design. After trials carried out in
Army HQ Signal Regiment, certain improvements/modifications were recommended in
the production model of the machine. The ECL Mk II was introduced shortly
afterwards, followed by the ECL Mk III. By Hyderabad 1972 a more sophisticated
version of the machine (ECL Mk IV) was being developed by DLRL. These had
in-built cryptogram and were expected to be issued during 1973/74.
In 1970 two prototypes of Equipment
‘CADDIS’ developed by LRDE has were received in Special Signal Regiment for
preliminary examination and trials. This equipment was intended for forward
area speech security role for use with RS AN/PRC-25. It was claimed to have the
facility of secure voice communication for durations of 6 to 8 hours, over the
simplex radio link set up by means of the terminal radio sets.
large variety of signal specialist vehicles had
been developed in
during World War II. Some of these vehicles were held by units at the time of UK in 1947.
With import of vehicles having ceased after the end of the war, there was an
acute shortage of signal specialist vehicles in Independence in the initial years. In 1950
efforts were made to obtain some vehicles from trade in India , after the
War Office expressed their inability to provide any from their own stocks.
However, it was not certain that the required number and types of specialist
vehicles could be obtained from UK .
It was learned that approximately 165 Lorries 3-Ton 4 x 4 with box
type bodies were held in Vehicle Depot, Dehu. It was decided to utilize
these for conversion to suitable signal specialist vehicles. The EME
commenced work in October 1950 for conversion of two types of vehicles viz.
Command Low Power and Terminal Equipment Vehicle Type D. The
responsibility for conversion of Lorry 3-Ton 4x4 Command LP was given to
512 Command Workshop, Kirkee while that of Lorry 3-Ton 4x4 TEV Type
D was entrusted to 505 Command Workshop, Delhi Cantt. Deficiencies
in respect of other specialist vehicles such Lorries Wireless High Power G 53
were being met by mounting WS SCR UK 399 in cabins on Lorries 3 Ton GS. In
lieu of Trucks 15-cwt 4x4 Wireless, Trucks 15-cwt 4x4 GS with Conversion Kit No
16 were to be issued. Simultaneous action was also be taken to install
fittings in 152 Trucks 15-cwt 4x4 with box type bodies held in vehicle depots
to convert them into Trucks 15-cwt 4x4 wireless.
By 1951 the prototype Lorry 3-Ton
4x4 TEV Type D converted in 505 Command Workshop had undergone user trials with
4 Divisional Signal Regiment. The vehicle provided facilities for easy
installation and working of the major items of equipment such as one 20/40/60
line switchboard; one teleprinter 7B(WD) complete station; one ACT 1+1 No. 2;
one Apparatus VFT S+Dx No. 2, up to eight fuller phones and two telephone sets.
When fully staffed, four of the personnel had to be accommodated in an
adjoining collapsible shelter, carried in the vehicle on the move. The
vehicle carried a 550 watt charging set and its own secondary batteries
adequate for equipment power requirements, lighting and fans. When fully
or partially unequipped, the table space available was suitable for the use of
the signal office staff.
The Lorry 3-Ton 4x4 Command LP converted in 512 Command
Workshop had also undergone user trials with 5 Divisional Signal Regiment. It
had the staff compartment in front and the equipment compartment in the rear in
contrast to the Bedford Command LP produced during the war. It carried
the same wireless sets (WS 19HP and WS 19) but provided additional control
facilities. The vehicle was self-sufficient for power requirements and
carried a 1260 watt charging set and adequate secondary batteries for the
purpose. The vehicle was slightly overloaded, but it was hoped that this
could be adequately rectified by strengthening of the rear springs or reduction
in the weight carried.
Meanwhile, work on the prototype Truck 15- cwt 4x4 Wireless had also
commenced in 505 Command Workshop. The vehicle was designed to accommodate up
to two wireless sets, which could be a combination of WS 19, WS 19(HP), WS 22,
WS 62, WS 76/R 109/R 209 or WS CN348. Alternately, it could carry one
WS 62/CN348 or one WS 52 Canadian. There was provision for carriage of
charging sets and batteries corresponding to the above sets and for an additional
light field set in exceptional cases. However, it was found that the prototype
using the Chevrolet 8444 chassis when fitted with the WS 52 Canadian or WS
19(HP), if carried as complete truck/ground stations, would overload the
vehicle. For the carriage of these sets it was decided to use the Dodge 1 ton
Power Wagons. For all other sets
corresponding to WS 19 truck/ground station in bulk, the Chevrolet 8444 chassis
would be suitable. The existing bodywork of the house type body was also
bulky. As such the prototype had to be redesigned with lighter furniture
and fittings so that adequate load carrying capacity was left for the signal
equipment, the crew and their kit.
At this time General Staff Policy Statement No 35 was issued which
gave out the design of the basic house type body for the 3-Ton vehicle to meet
the long term requirements of Signals. A team consisting of one signal officer
and three OR was attached to the Technical Development Establishment
(Vehicles), Ahmednagar to oversee the progress on the design of the vehicles.
In 1963 the General Staff Policy Statement No 90 in respect of signal
specialist vehicles was issued. Based on this, priorities for the
development of various signal specialist vehicles were worked out. Higher priority
was given to vehicles required for the mountain divisions, prototypes of which
were expected to be ready by December 1963. Prototypes of the other
vehicles required urgently, were expected to be ready by December 1964.
The vehicles were as under:- 19
Prototypes to be ready by
Truck 1 Ton 4x4
Truck 1 Ton 4x4
Truck 1 Ton 4x4
Command Vehicle (LP)
Truck 1 Ton 4x4
Signal Centre (Light)
Truck 1 Ton 4x4
Truck 1 Ton 4x4
Cipher Office (Light)
Truck 1 Ton 4x4
Air Support Tentacle
Truck 1 Ton 4x4
Radio Relay (Light)
Truck 1 Ton 4x4
Truck 1 Ton 4x4
Mobile Signal Workshop
Lorry 3 Ton 4x4
Command Vehicle (HP)
Lorry 3 Ton 4x4
Prototypes to be ready by
Truck 1 Ton 4x4
Line Construction & Maintenance
Lorry 3 Ton 4x4
Cipher Office (Medium)
Lorry 3 Ton 4x4
Signal Centre (Medium)
Lorry 3 Ton 4x4
TEV (HP Basic)
Lorry 3 Ton 4x4
Lorry 3 Ton 4x4
Mobile Signal Workshop
In 1964 it was decided that all future development of specialist
bodies will be based on Trucks 1 Ton Nissan and Lorries 3 Ton Shaktiman.
While development action already in hand for building of specialist bodies on
other types of vehicles would not be discontinued, no fresh development of
specialist bodies on other chassis was to be undertaken without the specific
approval of the Government.
Since the requirement of signal specialist vehicles was unlikely to
be met soon, units were permitted to modify GS vehicles on their own. Funds for
this purpose were sanctioned by the Government but these were woefully
inadequate. Units resorted to various types of innovations and improvisations
to modify vehicles in accordance with their needs. Since these modifications
were of a temporary nature, units were advised not to improvise hard plywood
roofs and retain the canvas canopies for the interim period. Some units managed
within the allotted funds by making full use of timber and other expendable
items authorized on WET. The restriction imposed on issue of GS vehicles
(75 percent of WE) was not applicable to the GS vehicles issued in lieu of
signal specialist vehicles.
After the authorization of radio relay to mountain divisions
it became necessary to design a suitable vehicle to house the radio relay
Central EME workshop started work
in 1965 to modify Truck 1 Ton 4x4 Dodge bodies for the installation of WS
C41/R222. The first lot of 21 modified vehicles was issued to the seven
divisions deployed in the East, at the scale of three per unit. Subsequent
issues were made to divisions in the West and medium radio relay sections.
During World War II, fairly extensive
wireless networks were established in , which then included India and Burma , where
South East Asia Command was located. High speed wireless links existed between Ceylon and Delhi , in addition to
several overseas stations such as London
and Melbourne . Wireless links also existed to all commands
and operational theatres. Transmitter stations had been established at Colombo Lodi Road in and at Bagjola in Delhi from where
operations of the Eastern Army were controlled. After the end of the War, a
large number of wireless links became redundant and were closed. According to
the new general staff policy for static communications formulated in 1946, the
scale of wireless circuits was one RT and one WT circuit down the chain of
command from Army HQ to sub area headquarters. This formed the basis of the
Static Wireless Army Network (SWAN) that existed at Calcutta . Apart from internal links, SWAN
also included links to foreign stations such as Independence . After London , several others such as Independence Saigon, ,
Kathmandu etc. were added to SWAN. The link to Rawalpindi was subsequently closed in April
In 1948 it was decided to establish
speech communications on wireless to Mhow. The Rawalpindi – Mhow RT Duplex link was opened and
Mhow became the third station on the Command RT net that existed between Delhi , Delhi and Ranchi . Shortly afterwards, due to frequent
breakdown of line communications between Poona
and Delhi , it
was considered necessary to split the above RT net in November 1948. The
Command RT net H21A would now work to Ranchi
and Mhow, while the H21B would be exclusively for Poona .
1949 wireless links were established between Ranchi – Srinagar – Jammu
and Naushera – Kotli for the use of the United Nations Commission for Rawalpindi and
Pakistan (UNCIP). The India ,
Naushera terminals were manned by Indian Signals personnel while the Jammu and Kotli
terminals were manned by Pakistan Signals.
was observed at this time that each command was following a different system of
nomenclature for wireless circuits. The sequence of various circuits was not
uniform and consecutive, and different prefixes were used within the same
command. It was decided that suffixes used in wireless diagrams would be
standardized. Links at Army HQ would be affixed by the letter A, Southern
Command with S, Eastern Command with E and Western Command with W. In September
1949, Ahmednagar and Deolali were added to the RT link working to Mhow. The
three RT links working from Rawalpindi
were re-grouped as given below:-
– Delhi A5
– Delhi A8
the move of Officers Central Record Office from Ranchi to Jhansi in 1949, it was decided to close the Delhi terminal on A13,
the Delhi-Simla-Jhansi CW net. Since the
advance party of HQ 1 Armoured Division had moved to Jhansi , it was decided to retain this
terminal for some time for schedule working on A13 (Delhi-Simla) and E3
(Ranchi-Lucknow) nets. Subsequently, the Jhansi
terminal on A13 was closed and replaced by one at Jhansi , manned by 1 Armoured Division. In
view of the fact that wireless link between Meerut – Gangtok existed and Delhi had no direct interest in Gangtok,
the Calcutta –
Gangtok wireless link was closed down in 1950.
In Calcutta 1950 a new policy for Post
Emergency Static Intercommunications was issued. It laid down that Army
fixed wireless networks will be installed providing radio telephony and hand
speed Morse/radio teleprinter signalling facilities in the normal chain of
command down to and including sub area headquarters and for field formations
down to brigade headquarters. In exceptional cases fixed wireless links would
also be provided to certain important depots/installations such as , Defence Services Staff
College and Central Ordnance Depot, Wellington . Rear link sets at
field formation headquarters would be provided from within the resources of
field formation signal units.
The hand speed Morse wireless links
from Army HQ to command headquarters as also wireless links from command
headquarters to area headquarters would progressively be converted to radio
teleprinter signalling. Eventually all
wireless links from Army HQ to command headquarters would be converted to
combined radio teleprinter signalling and radio telephony working (single side
band). As a long term policy it was
hoped to convert these hand speed Morse links to radio teleprinter
signalling. If additional wireless
communications were warranted from static formation headquarters to units,
these would be provided by from within the working sets at the formation
headquarters and the units concerned. The above fixed wireless network entailed
the provision of permanent transmitter and receiver sites in the normal chain
of command down to area headquarters.
Only transmitter sites would be provided at sub area headquarters and
independent sub area headquarters where receiver stations would be established
in respective signal offices.20
wireless link with Agra
was established in 1953 for the Custodian Force Korea that was sent there under the
aegis of the United Nations. Wireless communications were also established with
the International Commissions in Indo India . These consisted of one RTT
and one CW hand speed link between China and New
Delhi Saigon and
one standby CW hand speed link between
and Ranchi Saigon and subsequently between and Calcutta . Details of communications
and Indo Korea
have been given in Chapter 8.
An interesting development was with
regard to the Hindi Morse Code. In accordance with AO 6/S/51, it had been laid
down that the common language of the Army will be Hindi and the common script
will be Devnagri with effect from China 1 October 1956.
Since Hindi was to replace English as the official language of the Army
at a later date, it was visualized that this would affect the Corps of Signals
in several ways. The three main areas requiring attention were the preparation
of Hindi codes for use on Army telegraph circuits; modification/manufacture of
telecommunication equipment such as teleprinter and automatic telegraphy
equipment for transmission/reception of Hindi codes; and preparation of ciphers
and codes in Hindi. To prepare personnel for use of the Hindi Morse Code
training was also organised at Central Telegraph Office, . In 1953 one officer and three OR
underwent the training in Hindi Morse Code.
Vacancies for one officer and three OR were demanded on the next course.
However, in 1955, on the
recommendations of the Traffic, Procedure and Codes Committee, the Radio and
Cable Board felt that since the Ministry of Education had not completed action
on finalizing the Hindi script it is premature to evolve a Hindi Telegraph
Code. It was decided that the working group of the Traffic, Procedure and Codes
Committee will examine the existing Devnagari Script and put up suggestions
regarding any modifications required to cater for the requirements of
telecommunications using that script. The Radio and Cable Board would then
approach the Ministry of Education to take these modifications into
consideration while evolving the revised Hindi script.
the 1965 war with Agra ,
a wireless link was established between Pakistan
and Delhi .
The CW link to GHQ Pakistan Army began working on Rawalpindi 21 January 1966. The daily scheduled hours of
working were 1000-1300 hours and 1600-1900 hours IST. Subsequently an RT duplex
was established on Rawalpindi 19
September 1966. A land line
speech circuit between Amritsar-Lahore was established on the same date.
A revised policy for the provision
of Static Signal Communication (STATCOM) in the Army was issued vide Army
Headquarters letter No 64603/Sigs 7(a) dated 15 July 1970.
The revised policy letter took into account the transfer of
responsibility for Signal Despatch Service to Army Postal Service, extension of
the STATCOM network to field formations (down to division/independent brigade
level) in their permanent/semi-permanent locations and policy for the
introduction of new techniques/equipment such as use of ARQ equipment on all
unstable long haul VFT circuits and on all RTT circuits.
accordance with the provisions of No. 465 Radio Regulations, 1968 to discontinue the use of double
side band radio telephone transmissions in fixed services in the band below 30
MHz, in 1970 the Department of Communications asked all user departments to
implement this decision with immediate effect.
In keeping with the above policy, it was decided that progressively all
Army static radio telephone links would be changed over to single side band
(SSB). As a first step, all radio
telephone links ex Army HQ command headquarters would be converted to SSB
first telegraph line in Geneva
was established in 1851 between India
and Calcutta , followed by the first telephone
circuit between Diamond Harbour
and Calcutta in 1877. Four years later, Fort William got its first
exchange in India 1881 in
Army HQ at Simla. Though
was ahead of most other countries in the field of telecommunications, the
network was sparse and under developed. It was only when World War II came to India ’s
door-step after the Japanese invasion that urgent measures were taken and a comprehensive line communication system was established in
conjunction with the P&T Department. The system comprised a military trunk
telephone network and a teleprinter network, both manned entirely by the Army.
It also catered for private telephone and telegraph circuits required to
augment the civil system. The
construction and installation of the system was carried out jointly by the Army
and the P&T Department. Wherever
qualified P&T technicians were not available, these installations were
manned by military line mechanics.
Maintenance of the lines was carried out jointly by the Army and the
P&T. At the end of the war, the
entire line network was handed over to the P&T Department, which became
responsible for its operation and maintenance.
However, certain sections in the west that had not been completed when
the war ended were handed over in 1946 and 1947, concurrently with the
demobilization of the Army.
The telephone system in India
had come up during the war in an ad hoc manner to meet urgent requirements at
short notice. The network consisted of three auto exchanges and number of small
manual exchanges with inadequate junction arrangements. The switchboards
were either obsolete or unsuitable for an area where telephone density was
high. The P&T Department exchanges
with the number of AFHQ subscribers shown in brackets were located at the
Secretariat (350); Connaught Place (100); Lothian (10); Old Secretariat (25); South
Avenue “41” (500); Shah Jehan Road (10) and Air HQ (350). With the
departure of a considerable number of their trained technical staff to Delhi after
Partition in 1947, the P&T Department was hard
pressed to keep the exchanges going.
Plans were made to do away with the manual
exchanges and furnish all subscribers in Pakistan
with auto telephones by August 1948. The Secretariat auto exchange would be
allotted for the sole use of AFHQ both in the South Block of the Secretariat
and in the hutments around it. This was a short term plan suitable for use
in peace time. The ultimate object was to centralize auto connections in Delhi on one exchange
i.e. the Delhi Connaught Place
exchange. In this scheme AFHQ notified their requirements to the P&T Department as 1200 connections for use in
peace time capable of expansion to 2000 to meet requirements during war or
In 1948 a new all weather road
was built between Pathankot – ,
as the earlier road ran very close to the India-Pakistan border. The P&T trunk route to Pathankot along
the old road was abandoned and a new route was constructed along the new road
alignment. With this, the lines of communications to Jammu & Kashmir became
safer, more reliable and less liable to interference by the enemy. Direct trunk
communication was provided between Delhi-Srinagar using the 1+3 carrier system
that was installed between Jammu-Srinagar. The equipment for this project was
flown in to Jammu
and Srinagar and
the circuits engineered in record time by the P&T Department.
The policy for Post Emergency Static
Intercommunications enunciated in 1950 laid down guidelines for provision
of static communications in Jammu
and the responsibility of the P&T
Department in this regard.
It was clarified that the P&T Department would be responsible for the provision
of trunk telephone and telegraph circuits required by the Army in
non-operational areas. This included the provision and maintenance of
carrier and VFT equipment and alternate circuits in the case of
breakdown. Depending on the volume of traffic, trunk telephone and
telegraph circuits would be rented from the P&T Department for the
exclusive use of the Army in the normal chain of command down to and including
sub area headquarters. Telegraph circuits down to area and independent
sub area headquarters would be on teleprinters, which would be provided and
operated by command signal regiments. Telegraph circuits from area
headquarters to sub area headquarters, where installed, would be provided by
the use of fuller phone. Teleprinter switchboards would be provided down
to command headquarters only.
In 1966 two new concepts were
introduced in the plan for development of static communications. These were the
Defence Engineered Network (DEFNET) and Border Permanent Lines (BOPEL). Earlier, speech and telegraph circuits rented
by the Defence Services from the P&T Department were provided by patching
up links on communication systems engineered primarily for commercial use. The
DEFNET proposal envisaged that between major stations such systems should be
provided on carrier and VFT systems engineered exclusively for Defence
requirements. It also included measures for better maintenance, liaison,
protection of important installations and exclusive attention to Defence
circuits. The BOPEL catered for construction of PL routes in the border areas,
where none existed earlier, which may be needed by Defence in the event of an
implementation of DEFNET had to be held over for two years due to shortage of
funds and representation from the P&T Department that improvement in
Defence communications could be brought about by them with means easier and
cheaper than DEFNET. The two year
moratorium of DEFNET expired in June 1969. However, the P&T Department was
still not inclined to implement the DEFNET proposal on technical grounds. They suggested extension of Defence trunk
speech circuits on 4-wire basis from their carrier centres to Army premises as
an alternative to DEFNET. It was then
decided that both the schemes viz. extension of Defence circuits on 4-wire
basis and installation of carrier group systems in Defence premises as
envisaged in DEFNET, would be tried out on a limited scale to evaluate the
performance, feasibility and advantages of each.
early 1971 measures were taken to introduce troposcatter communications as part
of the static communication network. In view of the vulnerability of P&T
Department telecommunication networks to enemy action in certain border areas,
a necessity was felt for having medium range systems of communications which
could be deployed at short notice to extend P&T Department circuits to the
field formations. Though rear area radio
relay sections were included in the establishment of signal units, the
distances envisaged would be beyond the capabilities of these sections. With this in view, a case for procurement of
some thin line mobile troposcatter (TLT) terminals was taken up with the
Government for approval.
India 1971 a
large number of circuits were hired form the P&T Department in anticipation
of the imminent hostilities with . These included speech and
telegraph circuits on line and microwave as well as multi channel VHF links.
After the conclusion of the operations most of these circuits were
surrendered. However, new circuits were
hired between Pakistan
– Delhi and Dacca – Delhi . Considerable work was done by
signal units to rehabilitate static communication networks in Rawalpindi
which had been severely damaged during the war. Communications were also
provided for resumption of railway services in Bangladesh to facilitate the
evacuation of prisoners of war and move back of refugees.
the Simla agreement of July 1972 senior military commanders of Bangladesh and India met at
Suchetgarh and Wagah to delineate the line of actual control. At Wagah, the talks were held on the Pakistan side
and resulted in a major signal exercise.
Elements of both corps and divisional signals were deployed to provide
skeleton command headquarters communications for the visiting dignitaries using
both field and P&T systems. Speech
and telegraph circuits were engineered to Pakistan ,
Udhampur from Delhi
and Rawalpindi .
The signal office, which later
became the signal centre, is an important area of concern for Signals. To
ensure that urgent messages were not delayed, precedences are allotted by
originators. The precedence given to a message does not indicate its importance
but its urgency, and the priority that is accorded to it in the signal centre.
In 1949 the nomenclature of precedences was changed, to bring them in line with
those being used by the Navy and the Air Force. The new precedences were as
IMMEDIATE “OU” FLASH “OC”
EMERGENCY “O” EMERGENCY “O”
IMMEDIATE “OP” OPERATIONAL
IMPORTANT “P” PRIORITY “P”
ROUTINE “R” ROUTINE “R”
DEFERRED “D” DEFERRED “NM”
The policy for Post Emergency Static
Intercommunications issued in 1950 had some provisions concerning signal office
facilities and signal staff. It was laid down that minimum essential signal
office facilities including personnel from signal office working, cipher
working, switchboard operating and local signal despatch service will be
retained in each static formation headquarters in the normal chain of command
down to sub area headquarters. In
localities where two formation headquarters existed e.g. area and sub area
headquarters, or command and sub area headquarters, duplication of signal office facilities would
not be effected unless absolutely essential.
Lahore 1957 a
new phonetic alphabet was issued, superseding the one that had been in
existence for several years. The new alphabet was as under:-22
Letter Word Letter Word
A ALFA N NOVEMBER
B BRAVO O OSCAR
C CHARLIE P PAPA
D DELTA Q
E ECHO R ROMEO
F FOXTROT S SIERRA
G GOLF T TANGO
H HOTEL U UNIFORM
I QUEBEC V VICTOR
J JULIETT W WHISKEY
K KILO X X-RAY
L INDIA Y YANKEE
M MIKE Z ZULU
In December 1971 certain changes
were made in the designation of the staff employed in signal centre, exchange,
crypto centre, transmitters and receivers. The old and new designations which
came into effect from LIMA 1 April
1972 were as given below:-23
Signal Officer Officer
in Charge Signal Centre
Duty Signal Officer Duty Signal Officer
Commanding Exchange Officer in Charge Exchange.
Cipher Officer Officer
in Charge Crypto Centre
Cipher Officer Duty
Commanding Transmitters. Officer in Charge Transmitters.
Commanding Receivers Officer in Charge Receivers
Boards & Committees
During World War II a number
of inter-departmental and inter service boards were created for
co-ordination, planning and speedy execution of communication projects. Some of these were the Wireless Telegraphy
Board (India); the Signals Board (India), later renamed the Departmental
Telecommunications Board; the Services Communication
Board (India); the Defence Service Line Communication Board; and the
Telecommunications Development Board. The composition, charter and
responsibilities of these boards underwent several changes as the war
progressed. Some of these boards were still in existence at the time of , in some
form or the other.
In Independence 1950 a
Frequency Planning Committee was formed under the Ministry of Communication
with a view to examine in detail the Draft Frequency Plan and analyse the
overall percentage of the radio spectrum space allotted to . It
was also asked to integrate the minimum frequency requirements of all
telecommunication users in the country for presentation at the Radio
Administrative Conference to be held in September 1950 at India .
In May 1950 the Services Communication Board met to decide on the
division of responsibility the three Services on signal matters on which
no clear cut orders existed. It was decided to constitute a sub-committee,
consisting of one member from each Service and the CAFSO, to examine and draw
up recommendations on ‘The Division of responsibility of the Three Services on
Signal matters’. The recommendations of sub-committee would be then
examined by the Services Communication Board and submitted to the Chiefs of the
Staff Committee for approval.
In June 1950 during its 38th meeting the Inter
Departmental Wireless Board noted that the Atlantic City Convention of 1947 did
not cater for any allocation to the Off Route (OR) Frequency requirements in
the VHF band of 80-20 Mcs for the use of the Indian Armed Forces and the Civil
Aviation Department. The European countries, the Hague and Australia had
set aside 132-144 Mcs for the exclusive use of the ‘OR’ Services. The
Inter Departmental Wireless Board decided to allot 132-144 Mcs band for the
exclusive use of the Defence Services and the Civil Aviation Department for
ground to air working. Since WS No CN-348, then used for air to ground
communication, had the existing range of 100-118 Mcs, arrangements would be
made for the modification of this set to operate on 118-144 Mcs. 24
In New Zealand 1951 a delegation of
the Services Communication Board attended the Extraordinary
Administrative Radio Conference (EARC) at .
On its return the delegation submitted its report to the Government. Geneva accepted
the Aeronautical Plan, the Maritime Mobile Telephony Plan and the Region III
Plan (10 Kcs – 4,000 Kcs). The Conference had decided to implement the Atlantic
City Radio Regulations progressively, spread over a period of about six
years. This would result in further congestion of the spectrum space in
‘fixed bands’, in which almost all the Army circuits were operating. The Army
would have to re-distribute the frequencies for various circuits to ensure
economical use on time/geographical sharing basis. Certain frequencies in
use would become ‘out of band’ according to new allocations and the operation
of such frequencies ‘would have to be discontinued to allow other services to
A frequency sub-committee under the auspices of the Services
Communication Board was set up to study the implications of Final Acts of
the Conference. Meetings of the sub-committee were held daily for a
period of one month, at the end of which it prepared a list of frequencies in
use by the three Services, for submission to the International
Telecommunication Union (ITU). It is interesting to note that the
countries of the Soviet Block did not sign the Final Acts of the Conference and
thus reserved their right to use any frequency at any time for any
Service. This was likely to affect our radio communications because of
the fact that the India
and the USSR of Peoples Republic are quite close to our
A meeting of the Secretaries of the various Ministries
was held in March 1952 to consider the report of the Indian delegation to the
EARC. It was agreed at the meeting to set up the Radio and Cable Board
immediately, which could then set up a technical sub-committee to deal with the
work arising out of the EARC. The committee also recommended that a
committee of the Cabinet be constituted to deal with telecommunications
problems. The Cabinet Committee could be advised by the Radio and
Cable Board, composed of technical representatives of Defence, Communications,
Commerce and Industry, Natural Resources, Scientific Research and Information
and Broadcasting. All matters relating to ciphers would be excluded from
the purview of the Board.
After prolonged discussions
between various Ministries of the Government of India, an agreement was reached
to form a Telecommunication Committee of the Cabinet as also a Radio and Cable
Board to advise the Committee on matters affecting wireless and line
communications in China .
The Telecommunication Committee of the Cabinet would be chaired by the
Minister for Communications and the Radio and Cable Board by the technical
representative of the Ministry of Communications. The Defence
Services were to be represented in the Cabinet Committee by the Defence
Minister and in the Radio and Cable Board by the Chairman, Joint
Communications-Electronics Committee, as the Services Communications Board was
The Services Communications Board functioned mainly as an
advisory body to the Chiefs of Staff Committee on all signal matters. In addition the Board was charged with the
responsibility of co-ordination of all signal matters affecting more than one
Service. The Chiefs of Staff Committee in February 1952 approved the revised charter
and also agreed to the re-organisation and expansion of the Services
Communications Board in keeping with its enlarged charter of responsibilities,
which now included joint signal planning; standardisation of signal equipment;
methods and procedure; planning of wireless transmitting and receiving stations
and frequency planning. It was also felt that Services Communications Board
should be renamed as an appropriate joint committee in line with the other
advisory committees to the Chiefs of Staff e.g., Joint Planning Committee,
Joint Intelligence Committee. Accordingly the Services Communications Board
was redesignated the Joint Communications Electronics Committee (JCEC) on India 14 July 1952.
three service members of the JCEC were the heads of Signals in the three
Services viz. Director of Signals, Army HQ; Director of Naval Signals, Naval
HQ; and Director of Signals Air HQ. The
service member having served longest on the committee was the chairman. Service
and civilian officers could be co-opted from other departments as necessary for
the consideration of specific matters. The secretary of the committee was a
service officer from the secretariat of the JCEC. To cope with the added
commitments, additional staff was sanctioned in January 1953 and the number of
officers increased from two to five. According to the revised establishment the
JCEC Secretariat, which was also known as the Joint Communications Electronics
Staff (JCES), would now have two lieutenant colonels/majors or equivalent, two
captains or equivalent and one scientific officer (Signals). 26
the return of the Indian delegation from the EARC, the Ministry of
Communications formed a new organisation known as Wireless Planning and
Co-ordination Branch directly under the Ministry to consider and implement the
decisions of the EARC. The Frequency
Sub-Committee of the Joint Communications Electronics Committee periodically
reviewed the recommendations of the Ministry of Communications with the view to
coordinate action by the three Services.
Several important developments took
place in the wake of the Sino-Indian conflict in 1962. The Defence Services
Line Communication Committee (DSLCC) was sanctioned by the Government in July
1963. The secretariat for the committee was provided by a newly raised section
in the Signals Directorate (Signals 7).
The DSLCC would be responsible to plan and coordinate the requirements
of line communications for the Defence Services.
the 1962 operations, it was revealed that had gathered a lot of
information by intercepting wireless links of Government agencies such the
Political Department, Police, P&T Department and the Assam Rifles. Unlike the Army, these agencies did not
follow an elaborate RT procedure and the standard of wireless discipline of
their operators was also not satisfactory.
A good deal of valuable information was, therefore, being given away by
them to neighbouring countries. At the instance of the Signals Directorate, the
Central Monitoring Agency was set up under the Ministry of Defence to detect
breaches of wireless security in the border areas and to bring them to the
notice of the Ministries concerned for remedial action. 27
The Tactical Communications
Committee was also formed at Army HQ with the SO-in-C as Chairman. The charter of duties of the committee was as
Examine General Staff Policy Statement
No 76 (revised) 1961 and recommend systems and techniques of signal
communications to be adopted in the Army;
Examine signal communications systems of
field units and formations up to and inclusive of corps headquarters;
independent artillery and anti aircraft artillery brigade headquarters and
units; and air support signal units.
Examine cases sponsored by Directorates
at Army HQ and recommend to the most suitable type of signal equipments, scale
Periodically review the systems,
establishment of communications, personnel and equipment of field formations
and units and recommend changes where necessary.
Recognising the urgent need to develop the electronics industry in China , an
Electronics Committee was set up by the Government in August 1963 under the
chairmanship of Dr. H. J. Bhabha. The SO-in-C was a co-opted member of
this committee, which was asked to assess the total requirements of the country
in respect of various items of electronic components and equipment; survey
the existing and potential sources of supply and to recommend how best these
could be tapped; recommend measures for the planned development of electronics,
so that the country could become self-sufficient in this field during the next
10 years and in the most economical manner. The committee submitted six
interim reports before the final report was prepared. Among the important
recommendations of the committee were the setting up of additional electronic
factories in the public sector; production in collaboration with foreign
firms; and encouragement to the private sector to undertake the production
of smaller electronic equipment and components.28
Along with the case for creation of Central Monitoring
Organisation (CMO) in 1963, Signals Directorate had also recommended the
formation of the Communications Electronics Security Agency (CSA) and the
Communications Electronics Security Policy Committee (CSPC). However, the
formation of the CSA and CSPC was then not agreed to by the Government. In
1970, the case for creation of these two agencies was again initiated, since
the CMO, due to its limited resources, had not been able to undertake work
connected with the monitoring of microwave links and allied subjects of
important nature. The CSA would be
responsible for communications security policy, doctrine and coordination;
control of the CMO; control of clandestine radio operations; and collation,
cataloguing and dissemination of electronics intelligence.
During World War II, owing to heavy
losses of ships, it had become necessary to print certain documents in India so
as to make them available for quick distribution in the Eastern Theatre and for
that purpose a section called GSI (s) was established in the Military
Intelligence Directorate. At this time, there existed a combined inter-service
Signals & Cipher Security Committee. Main instructions about the security
of Army ciphers continued to come from the War Office in India and in
respect of Navy and Air Force ciphers from the Admiralty and the Air Ministry
respectively. After cessation of hostilities, the Joint Cipher Bureau was
formed in July 1946. In 1947, the Joint
Cipher Bureau became an inter-service and inter-departmental organization.
After UK ,
it was decided that the Joint Cipher Bureau should remain with Ministry of
Defence. The charter of the JCB was
discussed in the 6th meeting of JCEC held on Independence 4 August 1953. It provided the permanent
secretariat for the Cipher Policy Committee and the Director JCB was the
chairman of the Cipher Technical Sub Committee. It was responsible for
production, supply, distribution and central accounting of crypto material. It
was also responsible for keeping existing systems under technical review and
render advice to the services on cases of loss and compromise.
The International Radio Consultative
Committee (CCIR) was one of the permanent organizations of the International
Telecommunication Unit (ITU), which was set up in to maintain and extend international
cooperation for the improved and rational use of telecommunications of all
kinds. The CCIR dealt with technical and
operating questions relating specifically to radio communications. In 1970 the JCEC submitted a paper to the
Chiefs of Staff Committee recommending that since the Services were one of the
major users of radio communications in the country, they should be included in
the CCIR deliberations right from the earliest stage and adequately represented
in all future assemblies. It recommended the setting up of a National Committee
under the Wireless Advisor to the Government of India for coordinating the work
of the CCIR studies and also to systematize the programming and presentation of
the work to the concerned International Study Groups and thence to the Plenary
Assembly. The Director JCES was to be
nominated as a permanent representative on this Committee. These recommendations were approved by the
Chiefs of Staff Committee.
Amateur radio has been a popular
hobby ever since the invention of wireless. Known as ‘Hams’, amateur radio
enthusiasts have often rendered valuable service during natural calamities and
accidents. In Geneva
the hobby was quite popular not only in the military but also among civilians,
many of whom developed an interest in the activity during their visits abroad.
the growing expansion of radio amateur activity amongst the service personnel
was noted with interest and encouraged.
Besides being a modern scientific hobby it provided a means of making
service personnel more radio minded and played a part in the advancement of
technical development and research in the field of radio.
Within the first year after Independence amateur
radio clubs had been formed in a number of service institutions and signal
units. These included Army HQ Signal Regiment, Independence ; New Delhi ,
Mhow; Signal Training Centre, School of Signals Jubbulpore; UP
Area Independent Signal Company, ;
Southern Command Signal Regiment, Lucknow ;
Eastern Command Signal Regiment, Poona
and IMA, Dehradun. The Amateur Radio Club at Mhow progressed very rapidly and
had a membership of over 150 at that time.
It was affiliated to the IRAL, Ranchi
and to the RSGB, Bombay . It had its own QSL bureau and was a pioneer
in publishing a magazine devoted to radio amateur interests known as the
‘QRZ’. This magazine was designed to
cover world amateur activities as well as to give hints and tips to new comers. The club had its own building, generators, workshop
and component stores besides having a station ready to go on the air on all
amateur bands below 56 Mc/s. 29
many senior officers in the Corps were themselves ardent radio amateurs and
encouraged the activities of the radio clubs. Some of the well ‘Hams’ in Signals were Major General B.D. Kapur, Major General R.Z.
Kabraji and Brigadier P.S. Gill. The latter was responsible for setting up the
radio club in IMA, Dehradun, where he was posted as an instructor in the rank
of major in 1947. He has described his experience in the following words:-
On reaching the Academy
on London 11th January 1947,
I learnt I was to replace Major (Titch) A. C. Iyappa - our senior-most Indian
Signals officer, later to become our first Indian Signal-Officer-in-Chief. He
was to soon go away on promotion (Lt Col) as Commander Signals 4th Indian
Division, to gain experience, as he put it, and to make up for lost time as POW
of the Japanese, in the war years. It must be said to his credit that despite
being offered a higher position and rank, he voluntarily chose to first command
ACI was a thorough
gentleman, a natural leader and a dependable friend. He believed in (and
practiced) setting the highest example in all matters. And, this remarkable man
showed me the ropes and informed me that Signals must attract the cream of the
2nd and 3rd (Post-war) Courses of cadets, under training at the time.
There existed in those
days at Dehra Dun itself, the Signals Research & Development Establishment
under Colonel Watnam of the Royal Signals. On the Signals Net so to
speak, an idea was born - the IMA should have a Radio Club complete with a Ham
Radio Station to introduce Cadets to the exciting world of Amateur Radio.
Watnam’s boys soon put
together a 25 watt Radio Transmitter on a (wooden) Bread Board capable both of
CW (Morse) and voice using what the Radio Hams now-a-days call the Ancient
Modulation (AM), instead of Amplitude Modulation. A Dipole Antenna and a
disposals Receiver - Hillicrafters BC-342, remnant of some discarded SCR 399 -
completed the Station which could operate on 7 & 14 Mhz Ham-bands. Thus was
born the IMA Radio Club, and with it my own initiation into HAMMING. The Club,
on week-ends especially, became a hive of activity and a popular gathering place
for all and sundry.
In 1947, an
organization for allocating Call Signs and such like was as yet unknown. So,
after scanning the Ham Bands along with
Watnam, it was thought that call sign VU2MA was not in use and was adopted. And
soon enough, it became well known far and wide, as the Col
Station in Military Academy .
The HAM Radio Station
VU2MA went from strength to strength. The Second Course Sword-of-Honour Cadet
(HBS Grewal) opted for the SIGNALS, and a little later, this Station received a
bigger and a better Transmitter from CSO Southern Command – Brahm Kapur (VU2HM)
- ever keen to encourage Amateur Radio. Thus over a half Century ago, I
acquired the thrilling and the most absorbing hobby of all hobbies – the
Amateur Radio. 30
In 1948 the Government decided to
help amateur activity in Dehra Dun, India
and instructions were issued to the provincial governments to recommend fresh
licenses or renewal of licenses even if the applicant was not desirous of
conducting experiments/research. At that time there were approximately 50
licensed amateurs in the country and 20 fresh applicants. It was expected that by the end of the year India would
have approximately 100 amateurs.
The Services Club at Mhow continued
to progress. It applied for a second license to experiment on VHF facsimile,
for mobile working etc. The QRZ became a printed magazine and was considered to
be the best Ham organ in the country. The club, in adopting the activities of
RSGB, began conducting Morse training on the air on 14.1 Mc/s from 2000-2030
hours daily. The QSL Bureau was functioning well and it was hoped that a Bombay
PO Box number for the Bureau, when allotted, would greatly facilitate Indian
Hams. A new amateur call book was being compiled for India South
East Asia including dominions of and India and
this would be published shortly.
his stint at Dehradun, Major P.S. Gill was posted to Pakistan , where he set up another radio club.
Describing his experiences, he writes:-
been bitten already by the Ham Radio bug, it was but natural to get myself a
Ham-Radio set up. Soon a BC 610 Transmitter Station (VU2KD) was installed in
Officers Mess to work the Ham-bands. It served also to retain contact with
VU2MA at the IMA Poona
and to see how it was fairing. While it was exciting contacting distant
stations overseas, it was also a lot of fun listening to all and sundry
stations that filled the air and to acquire a fairly accurate picture of who
all operated when and from where and on what frequencies.
fine morning the Signal Company Commander at Colaba Point Bombay, which formed
an integral part of SCSR reported that vast quantities of transmitters and
receivers and accessories had been washed ashore directly into its area, some
of it still in original protective packing. It seemed the departing British or
American troops had dumped at sea surplus signal equipment but had not made a
very good job of it. Around two and half wagon loads of equipment were brought
to Dehra Dun and,
after cleaning and minor repairs some twenty mobile half KW stations (SCR 399)
were recreated, which later in the year were to play an important role in the
Operation Polo. Apart from this, Ham Radio Clubs at the IMA Dehra Dun &
School of Signals Mhow were gifted a BC 610 transmitter each.31
1949 the P&T authorities permitted amateur radio clubs to send slow Morse
for practice. Until then Services personnel had to obtain a “Non-Commercial
Certificate” from the P&T Department before amateur transmitting licenses
were granted to them. The Services
Communication Board ( Poona )
sponsored a case to exempt certain qualified Services personnel from technical
and/or Morse examination. This was
accepted and it was decided that Army personnel applying for amateur
transmitting licenses will be exempted from the Morse/technical examination
provided they possess the requisite qualifications. This was an
experimental measure for one year from India 1 October 1949. Detailed instructions in this regard were
published in Army Order 1104/49.
In 1962 Brigadier K.S. Gill was
appointed CSO of the newly created HQ IV Corps, which was raised after the
Chinese attack. During an earlier tenure as CSO XXXIII Corps in 1961, he has
written about his Ham activities as under:-
the beautiful hill-station, turned out to be an excellent Ham Radio location -
ideal for experimentation. I remember a case of freak (VHF) reception - we
picked up Bn to Coy VHF links from nearly a thousand miles away. We gathered
from the intercepted conversations that our troops (17th Division I think) had
gone into Goa to see off the Portuguese.
a 60 watt Rig fed into a rotatable Cubical Quad 3 Bander Antenna there was no
dearth of contacts world-wide. The Corps Commander, Lt Gen K. Umrao Singh
-VU2US- was an ardent Ham. Then there was in Shillong’s EME Workshop, Ram
-VU2TN - Ramakrishan, another very keen Ham.
April Captain TN 1962, a
DX-Expedition to AC5 Land, otherwise known as , led by VU2US was mounted,
with the station call sign VU2US/AC5. This Station was operated by the four of
us almost continuously for 96 hours from Bhutan Eastern Bhutan,
thus affording Radio Hams the world over a chance to bag a rare AC5 contact. My
good friend, Brigadier Rustom Kabraji -VU2BK- fondly known as KAB on the air-
and Commandant School of Signals at the time, joined us from Mhow to complete
the Team. As expected, among the World HAM Fraternity it was a major event, as
AC5 ( )
had come alive on the HAM-Radio firmament after a gap of several years.32
Amateur radio activity in the Army
continued to flourish and by 1964 Amateur Radio Clubs had come up in several
other establishments such as the Bhutan , Deolali; No
1, 2 and 3 Signal Training Centres and all command signal regiments.
Subsequently, the authority to conduct tests in respect of service personnel
was delegated to CSOs Command.
the first 15 years after School
of Artillery ,
there was little change in communication philosophy and techniques. Tactical
communications followed the chain of command and were based on line, wireless
and despatch riders. At regimental level, field cable was used for line and VHF
sets for wireless. Line communications above brigade employed a mix of field
cable and permanent lines, supplemented by HF wireless sets. The Corps was also
responsible for the Signal Despatch Service (SDS), using a variety of
transport, such as jeeps and motor cycles. In inaccessible areas, aircraft,
river-craft and animal transport were also used for carrying SDS mail.
Sino-Indian conflict of 1962 brought to light several lacunae in the existing
tactical communications, especially in the mountains. An important event was
the formation of the Tactical Communication Committee (TCC) that was set up at
this time, largely due to the efforts of the SO-in-C, Major General R.N. Batra.
The TCC was chaired by the SO-in-C and had representatives from all important
directorates of the General Staff Branch and Heads of Arms. The first report
submitted by the committee was in regard to the signal communications for a
mountain brigade group. The report was approved by the COAS who directed that
the recommendations of the committee should be tried out in a mountain brigade
group selected for the task and that the committee should now study the signal
communications at a mountain division level. Accordingly, an exercise was
conducted in 4 Mountain Division in which the communications of a brigade group
operating in the mountains were tested.
second meeting of the TCC was held on Independence 2 November 1964, during which many important decisions
were taken. The committee made detailed recommendations in respect of
communications provided by a mountain divisional signal regiment to formation
headquarters and supporting arms. A summary of the recommendations is as
The following should be changed over to VHF :-
Mountain Division -
Divisional command RT net (D1).
- Brigade net to regiments (D5).
- Brigade forward net (B1).
- Regimental and battery nets.
Divisional Engineer Regiment
- Regimental and company nets.
- Standby sets (AN/GRC-9 or WS 62 or equivalent) provided for special roles
should be replaced by manpack VHF sets of equivalent power output (AN/PRC-25
with a booster unit or equivalent).
A pool of HF sets should also be held at
formation headquarters to provide the necessary HF back-up to cater for
occasions when VHF links may become ineffective due to abnormal dispersion or
Level And Scale Of Communications
Existing Ultimate Interim (until ultimate equipment
Battalions Wireless communications from
platoon headquarters to sections
are not considered necessary. Commanders of RCL, MMG and Mortar platoons
should have wireless communications and should work on the battalion
forward net. The control set of the battalion forward net should be
AN/PRC-25 with a booster unit, or equivalent.
Regiments The existing system of regimental
and battery net or a combination thereof should continue. Radio-wire integration
should be provided at each battery command post and regimental
Regiments All wireless communications in the
regiment should be provided by the Corps of Engineers. The signal section attached from the
mountain division signal regiment would cease to exist.
Brigade Headquarters The B21 net should be
eliminated, and there is also no requirement for the brigade headquarters
to be an outstation on the divisional D4 (radio telephony ‘Q’) net, since
the mobility in a mountain division is limited. One wireless set of the
same type as is used on the battalion forward net should be available for
the brigade commander to listen-in on such nets, during the interim phase
when B-1 net remains on HF. A VHF receiver should be provided in addition
to a HF receiver. Two wireless sets VM-50 or equivalent should be held at
the brigade headquarters for improvised ground-to-air communications
within the brigade. In an independent mountain brigade group, rear links
should be provided using medium power wireless sets of the VC-102 type and
a pool of four low-power HF sets should be provided for the B21 net (to
‘B’ echelon and the services). Radio-wire integration facility should be
provided at brigade headquarters.
Brigade Headquarters One low-power wireless
detachment should be included for wireless communication to the Air OP
flight. One VHF detachment should be provided for working on the
divisional command net (D1 net). No wireless detachment need be provided
for rear links to the corps artillery.
If such links are required they may be provided either from the
resources of the divisional signal regiment or from the corps. Radio-wire
integration should be provided.
Headquarters Wireless sets deployed in the
headquarters should be carried in pairs as far as possible, two in each
vehicle in order to reduce the number of vehicles. The D1 (Divisional
Command RT ‘G’) net should be a VHF net.
An automatic rebroadcast detachment should be included to cater for
extended ranges. The D6 net for traffic control is essential and should be
included as a normal commitment. Two AN/PRC-25 or equivalent sets should
be authorized to the divisional signal regiment for local protection
duties. Two detachments should be provided for step up of two of the
divisional nets (D1 and D2 or D1 and D4). I Section should have three VHF
receivers and two HF receivers. One standby HF detachment should be
provided at main divisional headquarters to cater for various commitments
e.g. back-up for VHF nets, wireless communication for the services,
provision of B21 nets for brigades which are sent out on independent
roles, and so on. A wireless detachment for working on the D4 net should
be provided for the divisional maintenance area. Facilities for radio-wire
integration should be provided at both main and rear divisional
and FS Company A pool of five manpack HF
low-power sets should be provided for the I and FS Company for patrols, to
be manned by the company itself.
wireless sets are required to be held with units to provide immediate
replacement of faulty equipments or casualties. A scale of 16 percent of the number of
operational sets should be provided as standby equipments. Standby wireless
detachments which include both equipment and personnel should also be
provided on an adequate scale to meet special or additional
committee recommended that, conforming to the policy, existing wireless
sets should be replaced as indicated below:-
WS 88A DA/PRC-261 WS P type A
WS 88B DA/PRC-261 WS P type B
WS 31 AN/PRC-25 AN/PRC-10
WS 62 low power SSB set AN/GRC-9, WS 62 or HM-30
(yet to be decided)
C 42 VHF set (AN/PRC-25 with WS C-42 can be retained
booster or equivalent) in certain nets
Certain existing HF nets were
recommended to be changed over to VHF.
AN/PRC-25 with a booster unit or equivalent was recommended as the
standard VHF equipment in the mountain division for this purpose. Until this equipment becomes available, WS
C-42 was recommended for interim issue only in certain units where portability
is not vital (e.g. battery headquarters and to the rear in artillery
regiments). Where man portability is
vital, it was recommended that the nets
concerned should remain on HF using AN/GRC-9 or equivalent until the
one-manpack VHF low-power set is available (e.g. infantry battalion, mountain
The recommended revised basic wireless communication
layout for mountain division signal regiment is as show below:-
Radio Relay Communications
Radio relay is necessary within the mountain division to provide high-capacity
communications as quickly as possible after establishment of headquarters and
before lines can be laid. Radio relay should be provided down to headquarters
of mountain brigades. All the
detachments, however, should be provided by the radio relay section of the
divisional signal regiment. The present C-41, though too bulky for mountain
warfare, will have to be retained as an interim measure, but a lighter set for
radio relay working should be found as soon as possible. The recommended
typical radio relay layout is shown below:-
Line has always been the primary
means of tactical communications, except in mobile operations. Line
communications in field formations was usually provided by field cable laid on
the ground or slung on poles/trees. In the forward defended localities the
cable often had to be buried. In 1947, the types of field cable used were D3,
D8 and Assault No.2. Rearwards of brigade/division, carrier quad was usually
laid, especially in the plains. Sometimes, PL routes were constructed rearwards
of division and corps, in case time and resources were available. Cable in the
mountainous regions and forward areas was laid by man pack from dispenser
packs. Wherever possible, cable was laid from vehicles using ACLs. PL was constructed by line construction
sections authorised to static signal units such communication zone signal
In the initial years line
construction in the border areas was carried out by the Border Roads
Organisation, based generally on their road construction programmes. Manpower for line construction tasks was
provided by Signals, in the form of line construction sections attached to each
task force of the Director General Border Roads (DGBR). The line construction programmes were worked
out in consultation with the E-in-C and the CPWD, and approved by the
Directorate of Military Operations.
These programmes were forwarded to CSOs Commands for their
recommendations of priorities for line construction, taking into account the
operational plans of the command headquarters concerned. In 1963 it was decided that the Army will be
responsible for the construction and maintenance of all PL routes in the border
areas. All regular Army line construction sections under DGBR would be reverted
to the Army HQ. All PL stores not required by DGBR would also be transferred to
the period 1965-66 several PL routes were constructed in the North East where
communication infrastructure was almost non-existent. Most of these routes were
constructed by the Army, using the resources of local signal units. A large
number of PL routes were also constructed in
The scale and level of line communications provided at present was
considered adequate. However,
provision should be made for a telephone exchange specifically for the
divisional maintenance area. Line communications from company headquarters
to platoon headquarters in infantry battalions are not considered
necessary. The scale of telephones
in a mountain composite (pack) regiment should be increased so as to
provide quantity 73 telephones in the regiment.
There was a requirement of fuller phone links between mountain brigade
headquarters and infantry battalions, and between artillery brigade
headquarters and the artillery regiments. A teleprinter link was required
between divisional headquarters and each mountain brigade headquarters.
Panel In view of the increase in the number of
circuits in the main divisional headquarters, there is need of a patching
panel to be provided to enable testing of circuits and flexibility in the
use of equipment. This patching
panel should be capable of providing alternative switching of line, radio
relay and wireless circuits.
Integration These facilities should be
provided at main and rear divisional headquarters, mountain brigade
headquarters, artillery brigade headquarters and artillery regiments.
In view of the advantages offered for this type of communication for
clearance of survey data, fire plans and traces, facsimile terminals could
be provided at the divisional headquarters and at mountain and artillery
brigade headquarters, and artillery regiments in the first instance.
by 41 Signal Task Force
(GREF). The BOPEL scheme was also introduced, under which it was proposed to
construct PL routes in the border areas for use by Defence in the event of an
1971, considerable amount of PL, multi core cable and carrier quad was laid in
the Eastern Theatre in anticipation of the operations in Bhutan East
Pakistan, details of which have been given in Chapter 6. These
routes were laid by the P&T Department and signal units deployed in the
area. In addition, multi channel VHF links were hired from the P&T
Department to the projected locations from where operations were to be
Before commencement of the World War II,
Signals were responsible for the delivery of important messages through the
Despatch Rider Local Service (DRLS). The carriage of mail, both official and
private, was the responsibility of the P&T Department. During the war, when
Indian formations were deployed overseas, this system had to be modified. Field
post offices were set up by the Army Postal Service (APS) for handling mail,
while the DRLS continued to be manned by Signals. After some time, even this system
was found unworkable, due to increase in volume of official mail and
considerations of security. The responsibility for carriage of official mail
was given to Signals and the Signal Despatch Service (SDS) came into being.
Depending on the mode of transport used, the sub-divisions of the service were
known as Motor Despatch Services (MDS), Air Despatch Service (ADS) or Train
Despatch Service (TDS).
At Army HQ in , the delivery of official mail was
carried out by couriers held on the establishment of the Chief Administrative
Officer (CAO). Soon after Delhi ,
this responsibility was transferred to the Signals Directorate. The Army HQ couriers held on the strength of
the CAO were transferred to Army HQ Signal Regiment on Independence 1 September 1948.
In 1956 a meeting was held in
the Ministry of Defence to consider the possibility of dispensing with the SDS
and sending all army mail through the postal channels in the interests of
national economy. The P&T
Department, when asked to state the amount of security that could be afforded
to army mail in transit, stated that no special treatment can be given to army
mail other than that which is afforded to the normal unregistered, registered
and insured mail. Maximum protection is
afforded to insured mail but in case of loss of insured mail the postal
authorities could be held responsible only for payment of the amount for which
the missing article had been insured. As
the risk involved even in the occasional loss of a security document sent
through postal channels was not acceptable, it was decided that SDS would be
After more than ten years, the
proposal was revived. A work study team was constituted to study the system of
handling SDS and postal mail in the Army.
The team examined the possibility of establishing one agency to handle
the entire postal and SDS mail in peace as well as field areas. Based on the report of the study team it was
decided to hand over the SDS to Army Postal Service with effect from 1 July 1969. Instructions for implementation of the scheme
were issued vide Special Army Order 21/S/69 and Army Order 213/69.
Along with the transfer of
responsibility, the terminology was also changed. Since the term SDS was well
known in the service, it was decided retain the acronym and the new service was
redesignated as Scheduled Despatch Service, which became the responsibility of
the Army Postal Service. The Despatch Rider Service (DRS) was to continue with
the Corps of Signals
The issue of clearance of ‘live
traffic’, which was cleared by SDS under special contingencies, also had to be
resolved. With the transfer of SDS commitments to the Army Postal Service
certain precautions had to be taken by Signals to ensure speedy clearance of
live traffic. To distinguish live
traffic from other traffic envelopes containing live traffic had to be
distinctly marked “LIVE TRAFFIC”.
Detailed instructions in this regard were issued by Signals
After shedding the responsibility
for SDS, the Corps of Signals remained responsible for operating non-scheduled
despatch rider services forward of corps headquarters. All official mail would be cleared by SDS
with the exception of Top Secret despatches and other such despatches of
operational importance which the originators wished to send through special
couriers under their own arrangements.
If, in an emergency, it was not feasible or secure to send sealed SDS
bags through Railway Mail Service or the P&T Department, the formations
concerned would organize ad-hoc train courier service and augment the resources
of APS for running this.34
The Army Radio Engineered Network,
better known by its acronym AREN, was conceptualized by Major General R.N.
Batra, who headed the Corps of Signals during the period 1961- 66. In fact, the seed was
sown in 1957-61 when he was the Military Attaché in and germinated when he was the
helmsman of the Corps in 1961-66. The story of the birth of AREN is best
described in the words of its progenitor. Speaking on the occasion of the Plan
AREN commemoration on Washington 11
October 1990, General Batra had this to say:-
And now for a little
background on the beginning Plan AREN. I had not only been CSO Eastern and
Western Command having attended several exercises in the field, but also had
the subsequent advantage of seeing the Signals communication systems working in
the American field force, as also a two weeks course at their Signal Corps
School at Fort Monmouth whilst I was the Military and Naval Attaché in USA.
These were made possible by developing good personal relationship with Major
General Nelson, the American Chief of Signals (equivalent of our SO-in-C).
Later, as SO-in-C, I attended the Commonwealth SO's-in-C conferences in 1962
and 1964 in
On both these occasions the UK
SO's-in-C were my old friends from pre-World War II days in UK . On one
of these visits, I not only spent a few days with the British corps
headquarters in Europe, namely the British Army on the Rhine (BAOR), to study
their Signals communications within their corps, but got a good briefing from
the Commandant of their Signals School at Catterick Camp on their future
thinking with regard to Signals communications in the field. It became apparent
that both in the India
and USA ,
they were not only depending on secure
radio relay, but also going in for digital techniques.
With this background, and having
studied the limitations of linear Signals communication system in India with
its good and weak points, and also realising that in the event of war our Armed
Forces would basically either remain within our own territory, or at best
exploit success to about a UK 100
miles or so within enemy territory, I came to the conclusion that we too must plan
out future Signals communications within each corps on the basis of secure
radio relay systems but on an interconnected area grid system covering roughly
100 x 100 miles,
each terminating at a nodal point, using computer controlled digital automatic
electronic switch (AES). Divisional headquarters and brigade headquarters could
then hook onto the nearest such nodal point. There were of course to be
additional radio relay and AES terminals to meet the need of movements forward
or backwards. This system should enable us to give each crucial appointment a
fixed number, and no matter where he moved within the corps area, he could
receive speech, teleprinter, FAX and data communications automatically.35
The Commonwealth Military Communications Electronics
Conference was held biannually in the to discuss mutually
the current and future problems connected with the communication electronics
activities of the three services of the various Commonwealth countries during
the Sixties. The 7th and 8th
meetings held in August/September 1962 and
September United Kingdom 1964 in
London were attended by the SO-in-C who was also the Chairman, Joint
Communication Electronics Committee (JCEC) at that time, as the head of the
Indian delegation. On his return from in 1964, the
SO-in-C quickly assembled a team of officers, to give concrete shape to his ideas.
Apart from Brigadier I.D. Verma, the Brigadier Signals Staff, and Colonel K.S.
Garewal (later replaced by Colonel Harchand Singh), the Deputy Director
Telecommunications, the team included Lieutenant Colonels M.S. Sodhi, J.
Mayadas, M.B. Hart and S.L. Juneja; and Majors R.K. Gupte, B.S. Paintal, M.K.
Ghosh, M.C. Rawat and Sushil Nath. (Four of them - Verma, Garewal, Sodhi and
Ghosh - rose to the rank of lieutenant general, and became SOs-in-C, while the
others - except for Dick Hart who retired prematurely - became major generals).
his experiences as a GSO1 in Signal Directorate in 1964-66, Major General J.
in March 1964, I think, that Raj attended Mountbatten’s conference in UK on the
new PTARMIGAN concept (area grid communications). On his return his enthusiasm
was boundless. He quickly assembled a
planning team (Gary, Dick Hart, Lall Juneja, myself and others) to
listen to his concepts of the combat zone and communication zones of the
future, and to translate all this into block schematic communication
(radio/line/RR etc) diagrams; translate all this into the 10 mountain divisions
that were to be raised; come up with many answers to questions regarding
equipment backing, how many communication zone signal regiments would be
required to support the new field formations (12 eventually I think); how many
new training centres to provide manpower (initially two more); select/nominate
development and production agencies for the hardware; start costing exercise
and so on. Plan AREN had arrived and UK Patil joined the planning
From then on it was a frenzied process, till
the 1965 Pak war started. After the dust settled we were off again and AREN
became the buzzword in the Army. There were monthly presentations – Raj’s
enthusiasm and courage of conviction slowly brushed off on everyone, including
General Chaudhuri and the Financial Adviser.35
new communication system conceived by General Batra was named AREN, which is an
acronym for Army Radio Engineered Network. It sounded as 'RN', which were the
two initials of his name. Batra’s ardour
and conviction were infectious, and with his persuasive skills he was able to
convince General J.N. Chaudhuri, the Army Chief. In late 1965, he made the
first formal presentation of Plan AREN to the Army Chief, the Army Commanders
and Principal Staff Officers. Their response was heartening, and Batra knew
that he had won the first round. His grasp of fundamentals, and their
application in the field of combat communications, coupled with his domineering
personality, convinced those who mattered in South and North Blocks that Plan
AREN was essential, at any reasonable cost. Once this was achieved, it was easy
to justify the associated raisings, and the funding for the project.
general philosophy guiding the Plan AREN system of communication was as
Voice communication will be the basic
medium of two way traffic.
Traffic, for the purposes of record,
will be cleared over teleprinter, facsimile and computer data channels.
Commanders will also be provided
communication on move.
Step ups will be provided to ensure no
break in communications.
All communications will be integrated
and cryptographically secure.
The communications system will be
reliable, effective, highly survivable, quick to establish, capable of handling
large volume of traffic with speedy clearance, multi axial in nature and with
system was to consist of a network of communication centres/nodes inter
connected by multi channel radio relay and forming a communication overlay
covering the whole of the corps operational zone. Direct trunk dialling would be provided for
both static subscribers at headquarters and mobile subscribers, throughout the
combat zone. There could be 15 to 30
communication nodes. The formation of the grid network would depend on the
operational situation of the corps. A
typical diagram, depicting area grid system of communications for a division,
is given below:-
The fifth meeting of Tactical
Communication Committee (TCC) held on Lt
Col 18 August 1967 discussed the future concepts of integrated
signal communications for the field force in the post 1976 period. The entire range of the equipment was to be
developed and manufactured indigenously.
The report conceived that the futuristic signal communications must be
quick to establish, reliable and secure with survivability and high traffic
handling capacity and should provide longer ranges with improved and lighter
equipment. The General Staff Policy
Statement No 76, Issue No 3, was issued during December 1968. To implement the
AREN project speedily, a Steering Committee was formed during November, 1969 to
lay down major policies and speed up the developmental efforts. To assist the Steering Committee in the
implementation of the Plan, a Project Management Organisation (PMO) was
sanctioned during November 1971. The
first Project Director was Brigadier N.A. Patil. The paper on Plan AREN was
cleared by the Steering Committee on 1 November1971 and subsequently by the
Political Affairs Committee of the Cabinet (CCPA) on 25 November 1971.
is an interesting anecdote connected with the presentation of the paper to the
Political Affairs Committee of the Cabinet which was chaired by the Prime
Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi. The
SO-in-C, Lieutenant General E.G. Pettengell, was required to brief the Chief of
the Army Staff, General Sam Manekshaw about the salient features of Plan AREN,
before the meeting took place. Due to
certain pre-occupations the Chief could not find time to get the detailed
briefing. He asked the SO-in-C to brief him during their ride in his car from
his office to the Parliament House, where the CCPA meeting was to be held. It is believed that the Cabinet was so impressed
by the projected plan that sanction was accorded immediately. However, while conveying the sanction, the
Prime Minister wondered why the Army was content to have a brigadier heading
such an important organization which was responsible for implementing such a
modernistic plan of large proportions.
The Chief is supposed to have remarked that Brigadier Patil was the
ideal man for the job and they were temporarily accepting a brigadier as he was
not yet due for his promotion!
Data Processing Systems (EDPS)
As in many other countries, when
computers started to be used in ,
they were considered to be a tool for statistical purposes. The systems dealing
with computers were called EDPS (Electronic Data Processing System) or at times
ADPS (Automatic Data Processing System). In the 1950’s a major project was set
up that marked the birth of EDPS in India . This was the National Centre
for Software Development and Computing Techniques at India under Prof. R. Narasimhan and his team
from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) which took up high level
software development projects. The national entry of computers in Bombay was the
pioneering design of the TIFR pilot machine (1955) and TIFRAC automatic
computer (1957) with ferrite memory 2048 words (40 Bits), single address, the
state of art system at that time! They
were designed from scratch by Prof. R. Narasimhan, the doyen of computer
development in India ,
and built by a team of six at the TIFR.
The first computer in the Ministry of Defence was established at the
Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) in 1962 and was devoted to
significantly the first of the defence computer applications during the War,
working at range tables for weapon systems!
Use of EDPS and computers for the
Indian army was conceived in early 1960’s by the Corps of Signals. The Army
Headquarters EDP Steering Committee was formed with the SO-in-C as the Chairman
in January 1964, to examine the need for introduction of EDPS in the Army both
for static and field applications. The committee was also asked to submit
recommendations with regard to the progressive introduction of these systems
and the agency that should be made responsible for their detailed study,
planning, coordination, installation and operation. Four project teams were set up to carry out
feasibility studies to uncover EDP prone areas in Military Secretary’s,
Adjutant General’s and Master General of Ordnance’s branches and to develop an
integrated system for Army HQ. EDPS trained signal officers were positioned
with the first two branches to assist in these studies.
This Steering Committee submitted its first
report in May 1964 and among its more prominent recommendations was one which
in effect urged the Government to accept EDPS as a tool of management in the
Army. The COAS approved the following recommendations of the Steering
Introduction of EDPS is essential to
process data relating to administrative and logistical support operations in
The Corps of Signals should be made
responsible for detailed study, planning and coordination of the EDPS.
Government approval in principle should
be obtained to the implementation of Phase I of the EDPS plan which envisaged
installation of punch card equipment at Central Ordnance Depot, Delhi and of
electronic computer system at Army HQ.
Minister’s Inter Services Committee established the EDP Advisory Group in July
1965 to look into the total requirements of the Services for use of EDP as a
tool for decision making at all levels.
A study group was formed under the chairmanship of Dr S. Bhagavantam,
the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, to examine the introduction of
EDPS in the Defence Services. The SO-
in-C was the Army member of the study group, which had representatives from the
other two Services and the Ministry of Defence. Lieutenant Colonel A.
Balasubrahmanian (Signals) was the Technical Secretary.
first meeting of the study group held on India 20 February 1967 took a number of major
decisions. It was generally agreed that
the programme of automation should be undertaken Service-wise. Detailed studies
should be instituted by each Service for the examination of the use of
computers for command and control applications, and nucleus cells should be
created in each Service HQ to guide the conduct of these studies. For the
obvious inventory control and personnel management functions, a sub-committee
consisting of Lieutenant Colonel A. Balasubrahmanian, Principal Scientific
Officer and Chief Statistical Officer, Army Statistical Organisation was formed
to assess the load that would be generated by the three Services in terms of
During those days only main frame
computers were available, which required centralized facilities called computer
centres. It was essential for one agency to manage them efficiently. Also in a
large organization like the Army, in order that the EDP systems could be used
by various users and data base shared by them efficiently, it was imperative
that all planning and development took place on an integrated basis. With this
end in view, the Chief of Army Staff entrusted the SO-in-C with the
responsibility of developing EDPS in the Army. The choice was apt because the
basic vehicle for integration of an EDP system is efficient communications. Without a data communication network to
interconnect the various EDP centres, it would not be possible to share the
computing power and the same updated data base by systems of various
branches/directorates and echelons of headquarters.
on the decision taken at the first meeting of the EDPS Study Group, a nucleus
cell for EDPS was formed at Signals Directorate on
1 April 1967. Lieutenant Colonel (later Major
General) B. S. Paintal, who had attended a course at Fort Monmouth in USA, was
the first GSO1 of Signals 9, as the cell was designated. With his vision and
dynamism, planning in all aspects of EDP including formal training of manpower
was taken up with vigour.
The second meeting of the EDPS Study Group held on 6 May 1967 recommended that the
Honeywell computers being installed in the computer centre of the Department of
Statistics, Cabinet Secretariat, be hired to handle workloads of the three
Service Headquarters. Also, that the Government accept, in principle, EDPS as a
tool of management and the proposals of
the three Services for staff to conduct systems analysis to extend the
application of EDPS into as many areas as is necessary; and that the training
facilities for EDPS which are currently available be explored for arranging defence oriented
courses. The Government computer centre was inaugurated at RK Puram, on New Delhi 9 November 1967. Two
Honeywell computer systems were operational and two more were installed shortly
afterwards. Out of the four computers, one was allocated for defence users,
which included one for the Army, one for the Joint Cipher Bureau (JCB) and two
for other Government users. 37
The Army’s integrated EDP Plan
(1969-78) was conceived in 1968. It visualized the use of computers for
management information systems (MIS), command and control, fire control and war
gaming. To ensure that information was timely, up-to-date and accurate, a data
communication network interlinking static computers was also proposed. For
field applications, use of area grid system part of Plan AREN was
envisaged. The integrated data plan
also took note of the need for building up in house training capability in EDPS
as also training of officers abroad and with civil institutes within the country.
The plan was formally approved by the Army HQ EDPS Steering Committee on 30 November 1970 and by
the Ministry of Defence Advisory Group in June 1972.
top down philosophy for automation of management information systems at various
headquarters was adopted. Accordingly, the process of automation was to
commence at Army HQ and then percolate downwards to commands and lower
headquarters. As a result, the Army HQ EDP Centre was raised with effect from
18 September 1969, to
automate functions at Army HQ. It comprised staff for systems development,
operation of a computer system and data preparation. Lieutenant Colonel V. M.
Sundaram had the privilege of raising the computer centre. He also had the
unique distinction of commanding it in successive ranks as a lieutenant
colonel, colonel and brigadier. It was due to his foresight, meticulous
planning and dedication that this organization was able to develop a number of
systems and provide excellent support to the staff, both during peace and war.
Initially, the Honeywell 400 system installed in RK Puram, by Government of India was used. An
ICL 1904 computer system, a second generation computer, was later installed in
Signals Enclave, New Delhi ,
for exclusive use of the Army. This computer became operational in mid - 1971.
The first MIS system was developed for
Military Secretary’s branch for officers management, dealing with promotion
boards; panels for various foreign postings and courses; and important
appointments and courses in
Initially, records of only officers of the rank of lieutenant colonel and below
were computerized. Subsequently, records of senior officers up to the rank of
major general were automated. The initial team of signal officers under Colonel
Sundaram comprised Major Ganga Prasad and Major Purshotam Singh, who were
commended by the Chief of the Army Staff for their pioneering work in the EDP
field. Subsequently, a number of other important applications were automated,
ranging from grant of honorary commissions to JCOs/OR on Republic Day, conduct
of entrance examinations for entry into the Armed Forces Medical College,
system of issue and release of soft – skinned vehicles and controlled stores,
and relief programmes of infantry and artillery units.
Some special applications were automated at
short notice during the 1971 Indo – Pak war. The EDP centre was urgently tasked
to compile the lists of Pakistani POW and detainees held at the end of the
operations. HQ Central Command had attempted to undertake the task manually,
but the lists were full of errors and suspect. The EDP Centre took on the task
on war footing. Lieutenant Colonel A.S. Kahlon was made responsible for data
creation and Lieutenant Colonel Inderjit Singh entrusted with report
generation. Nearly one lakh (hundred thousand) records were created within four
days using over sixty punch card machines and staff available with all
government agencies including statistical organizations of Bangladesh in India . System software
was used to delete duplicates and create turn around documents by trips to
camps/detention centres for verification. These were taken under arrangements
of Adjutant General’s branch by road/rail and air to concerned locations and
updated and authenticated lists brought back within two days. The magnetic
files were updated and the manpower group generated the first authenticated
lists of nearly two thousand POW/detainees within a day, as they had written
and tested the programmes while data authentication and creation was on. The
assignment was completed within a week. A battle casualties report generation
system was also developed for the Adjutant Generals branch. The commandant and
staff of EDP centre were highly commended by the Adjutant General and SO-in-C
for completing these assignments so speedily and accurately.
addition to setting up the Army HQ EDP Centre, a number of pilot projects and study teams were sanctioned
during the period 1969 to 1971 to examine the feasibility of automating other
applications. These included a pilot punch card machine project for Signals
sanctioned on Jabalpur 18 September
1967, which was later upgraded to a computer based system, a pilot
project for Central Ordnance Depot, Delhi Cantonment, automation of Infantry
records office functions and feasibility study team for HQ Technical Group EME.
Corps did significant work in EDP field and many signal officers received
recognition at the national level. Brigadier V.M. Sundaram, the first
commandant of the Army HQ EDP Centre later became the President of Computer
Society of India. He was also the chairman of the expert committee for
government computerisation ordered by the Department of Electronics at the
express wish of the Public Accounts Committee. Major General A.
Balasubrahmanian, AVSM was the technical secretary of the Ministry of Defence
advisory group on EDP from 1966 onwards. During the years 1972-79 he functioned
as officer on special duty (computers) in the then newly set up Department of
Electronics. He was the founder secretary and president of the Computer Society
of India, the principal professional body of computer experts in
also India ’s
representative in International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP).
Lieutenant Colonel S. K. Mair and Major C. L. Anand were selected for
deputation with the External Affairs Ministry for automating the functions of
the supply wing at the High Commission of India in India .
Major R. Thiagarajan was one of the first to undergo computer training
at the Statistical Research Institute, London .
He did pioneering work for National Informatics Centre (NIC), the Planning
Commission, various universities and departments. He became an internationally
recognized personality in IT field and toured many countries giving talks and
participating in seminars and so on. The
Corps can justifiably be proud of introducing EDPS in the Army, seeing it
through the gestation period, nurturing it in its infancy and bringing it to
the present stage.
The story of developments in signal
communications and equipment during the period 1947-72 is in essence the story
of the growth of the Corps of Signals.
During the first twenty five years of its existence as a fully
Indianised force, the Corps literally grew from childhood to manhood. The rapid technological advancements in the
field of electronics resulted in radical changes in the type of equipment in
the inventory of the Corps. Thermionic valves were replaced by transistors,
leading to increased sophistication and miniaturization. The use of single side
band and the exploitation of higher frequency bands had considerably enhanced
the coverage of the radio frequency spectrum. Improved techniques in carrier
telephony had augmented the availability of telephone and telegraph circuits on
the available lines and radio links. Automatic exchanges had replaced manual
switchboards and lighter and stronger cable had made the task of laying lines
in forward areas easier. Similar advancements had been made in power equipment
such as generators, charging sets and batteries.
the most significant change was the introduction of radio relay, which combined
the advantages of both radio and line. It gave communication planners greater
flexibility in rendering communication support to field formations, which were
able to get reliable telephone and telegraph circuits as soon as they arrived
at a new location. It also led to the birth of revolutionary concepts like Plan
AREN, which promised to provide commanders and staff a degree of flexibility
unimaginable in the past. The decision to switch over from HF to VHF in radio
links in field formations enhanced reliability and survivability of radio
communications, which were earlier prone to interference from climatic
conditions and diurnal changes in the stratosphere.
1947 and 1972 the Indian Army fought four major wars - the Jammu & Kashmir
operation in 1947-49; the Sino-Indian conflict in 1962; the Indo Pak war in
1965; and the war with
in 1971 that resulted in the liberation of Pakistan . As would be apparent
from the detailed accounts of these operations, developments in signal
communications and equipment was a major factor that affected the final
outcome. The most radical changes occurred during the early 1960’s after the
debacle in 1962. It was primarily to these far-reaching measures that he Corps
acquitted itself with credit in 1965 and 1972.
ENDNOTES TO CHAPTER 11
chapter is based mainly on the Corps of Signals Planning/Liaison Notes for the
period 1948-57 and 1963-72; General Staff Policy Statement No. 76 of
18 March 1955 and No. 76
(Revised) of 22 May 1961;
and personal inputs from officers. Specific references are given below:-
GHQ ( ) Letter No. 29175/Sigs (5) of
India 24 May 1944.
- General Staff Policy Statement
No. 76 – Signal Equipment, issued on
18 March 1955.
- General Staff Policy Statement
No 76 (Revised), issued on
of Signals Liaison Note No 32 OF January
7. Corps of Signals
Liaison Note No 81 of August 1968.
- Corps of
Signals Liaison Note No 11 of July 1949.
- Corps of
Signals Liaison Note No 95 of December 1971.
Corps of Signals Liaison Note No 71 of May 1966.
of Signals Liaison Note No 23 of July 1952.
of Signals Liaison Note No 76 of July 1967.
Corps of Signals Liaison Note No 96 of April 1972
of Signals Liaison Note No 13 of
of Signals Liaison Note No 64 of
of Signals Liaison Note No 90 of
Corps of Signals Liaison Note No 34 of July 1955
Corps of Signals Liaison Note No 80 of May 1968
Corps of Signals Liaison Note No 62 of March 1963.
Corps of Signals Liaison Note No 15 of July 1950.
of Signals Liaison Note No 62 of
of Signals Liaison Note No 79 of
24. Corps of Signals Liaison Note No 15 of July 1950.
25. Corps of Signals
Liaison Note No 22 of April 1952.
of Signals Liaison Note No 3 of
of Signals Liaison Note No
40 of January 1957.
of Signals Liaison Note No
95 of December 1971.
28. Corps of Signals
Liaison Note No 66 of April 1964.
29. Corps of Signals Liaison
Note No 6 of August 1948.
of Signals Liaison Note No 24 of
of Signals Liaison Note No
64 of October 1963.
35. Extract from speech of Lt Gen R.N. Batra
(Retd) on the occasion of the Plan AREN commemoration,
- Brigadier P.S. Gill, ‘Tales from HAM Radio –
1 (IMA Dehra Dun -1947)’, The Signalman,
- Brigadier P.S. Gill, ‘Tales from HAM Radio –
Signalman, May 2001. Poona
- Brigadier P.S. Gill, ‘Tales from HAM Radio –
3 (Shillong & Tezpur 1962)’, The Signalman-
of Signals Liaison Note No 37
of April 1956.
of Signals Liaison Note No
88 of May 1970.
, Delhi 11 October 1990
from letter dated 22 April
1996 from Maj. Gen. J. Mayadas to Maj. Gen. Prakash Gokarn, giving
inputs for proposed biography of Lt. Gen. R.N. Batra. (Mayadas and Batra were
both Cottonians - alumni of ,
Simla - though there was a seven year age difference between them).
of Signals Liaison Note No
79 of March 1968.
In 1968 the policy regarding Generating Sets 3.5 KVA had to be reviewed after it was brought out during trials of 400 Watt Mobile station that a power source of 3.5 KVA is not quite adequate. Further for radio relay station a generating set of 2 KVA capacity was adequate both from the point of view of power rating as well as of weight and size. The development of the 3.5 KVA generator was not making headway due to non availability of an indigenously produced prime mover, where as feasibility of the indigenous production of 2 KVA existed. Hence, it was decided to amend the GSPS No 81 so as to change the requirement of generating set 3.5 KVA to one of 4 KVA and include the requirement of generating set 2 KVA.16