Coming Soon
It's been a while, but as they say, better late than never. We finally made some time to redesign our blog and soon we will have our own independent website. The blog helped us reach a huge audience and generate a lot of interest in this area. As a result, the format and (utility) of the blog seems overwhelmed, hence the transittion to the dedicated site. The URL for the new site and content will be disclosed soon. Till then, enjoy the blog and continue to contribute to our posts.
GPS gives Indian Army a new ‘Saathi’
For a soldier operating under the cover of darkness in enemy territory, the biggest challenge is navigation due to unfamiliar territory and lack of easily identifiable landmarks on ground. However, global positioning system (GPS), an interesting and useful technology to emerge in the last few years, is fast transforming military capabilities of nations throughout the world.

Closer home, a new hi-tech PDA with a GPS antenna to display military maps and location of other devices, prepares Indian soldiers for the 21th century battlefield. Till now, the Indian Army’s Saathi, a robust tactical GPS-enabled PDA with an integrated radio and a customised GIS application, accelerated the military advances of ground forces. Recently, Encore Software, a Bangalore-based product development company, joined hands with UK-based Sarantel to introduce new features such as precision location data in Saathi, thereby leveraging the potential of the GPS technology. Sarantel boasts of being a leading innovator in the design and manufacture of miniature antennas for portable and mobile wireless devices.

Essentially, the Sarantel GPS antenna will ensure that every Indian soldier with a Saathi, weighing no more than 875 gm, has optimum GPS reception across all environments and locations. The compact Saathi can easily fit into a soldier’s palm. It has a remotely operated self-destruction and activation feature for preventing misuse if it falls into an unauthorised persons’ hands. Encore Software, which has been behind the creation of the PDA, integrated Sarantel’s miniature GPS antenna in the Saathi to ensure that soldiers have stable GPS reception in unstable conditions. Sarantel’s GPS antenna does not confirm to any standard for rugged devices. It can also operate in ambient temperatures in the range of -10 deg C to 50 Deg C, and is water and dust resistant.

“Around 90 devices were supplied in March 2004 to the Indian Army for field trials. Subsequently, orders have been placed for another 390 units. In addition, approval for purchase of about 1,000 units has been obtained,” says Mark Mathais, president of Encore Software. It is seen that conventional antennas detune and become inefficient when in contact with RF-absorbing materials like the soldier’s hand or head. However, a key benefit of integrating Sarantel’s GPS antenna is that it ensures always-on frequency on the Saathi, Mr Mathais adds.

“GPS is an invaluable tool for the ground forces. The Sarantel GPS antenna provides superior reception in extreme conditions and enables soldiers to carry out their duties without having to worry about GPS performance,” says Oliver Leisten, CTO of Sarantel. The Sarantel antenna also works in random orientations because of the antenna’s omni-directional capability. This important capability removes the burden on soldiers to think about orienting their PDAs in order to achieve reliable performance, he adds.

According to Joe Murray, president, Asia Pacific, Sarantel, Encore’s position in India’s electronics industry is strong, and their military PDA design has potential beyond India. Even as the rapid progress in IT transforms military capabilities, it is becoming clear that information warfare will likely emerge as a new combat area. For the time being, Sarantel’s wireless equipment will transform the homegrown PDA into a navigation instrument and meet the information requirements of Indian soldiers.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 6:48 AM


The global defense industry is constantly shaping how borders are protected, wars are fought, terrorists are tracked and caught, and global security maintained. We aim to track news, policy, military exercises and strategic affairs between the world's largest democracies - India and the United States.

Given the vast interest and passion we have in this field, we decided to launch this blog to give visitors the ability to track these developments, exchange ideas and link to other sources of Information. Our primary sources and links can be found on the main page. Some of the pieces published herein our ours, otherwise it is reproduced from other sources (news, think-tanks or publications) to provide our readers the ability to interact and respond. The link to the original source can always be found under the article. Articles and op-ed pieces written by us include thoughts and opinions that are ours, not those of any government or political party. Last but not least, this blog is not-for-profit, nor is it financially supported by any corporation, entity or organization. It is purely to be used for informational purposes and not commercial and/or profit motives.

Thank you, Nik Khanna & Jango Unwalla

About The Blog
This blog focuses on current issues concerning defense and national security for the world's largest democracy - India. It is updated regularly providing readers with in-depth information on technology transfer, acquisitions, counter-terrorism, security and military collaboration and strategic dialogue between India and the United States. The site includes links to top defense policy & research institutes, think-tanks, military sites and research organizations.
Cooperative Cope Thunder
Nikhil and Jehangir wrote an exhaustive article about the Cooperative Cope Thunder joint event. Their article was publihed in Vayu magazine. Click on the link below to read the in-depth article with amazing pictures courtesy of mark Farmer at
Guard members are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
If you're looking for a way to serve your community and country while maintaining your full-time civilian career, the National Guard is for you. Click below to learn more about the proud history of the Army National Guard.
Copyright © USIndiadefense, 2006.
All Rights Reserved