Modern day aircraft and systems are extremely software intensive . The software components are making the ac and systems more advanced and lethal in their roles. In this regards, software driven defence equipment can be termed as for enhancer. For any Air Force to remain in the cutting edge of technology, it must possess the capability to induct and integrate new weapons and systems to existing ac. The costs of new weapon platforms are becoming increasingly prohibitive by the day. On the other hand, the pace with which the advancements in avionics and weapon systems are taking place is indeed much faster than those of the platforms carrying them. If these advancements were not integrated in ones weapon delivery platforms on time, the force would become inferior and vulnerable to those possessing the technology.
The only economically viable option for the Air Forces is to integrate newer weapons and systems into existing platforms. In addition, there is also a need to integrate the same weapon into different platforms operated by the Air Force. The integration of a new weapon system is a complex process primarily involving software work. While the weapons themselves are expensive, their integration to a platform is even more expensive.
Considering these factors, the IAF took the most prudent step by establishing a dedicated Software Development Institute (SDI) to integrate new weapons and systems into the IAFs Fight aircraft. SDI has not only reduced the time taken for these integrations and flexibility of future changes but has also saved invaluable foreign exchange to the tune of Rs 500 crores within five years. SDI is undertaking weapons and systems integration on Jaguar, MiG 21 BISON and SU-30 MKI ac and is slated to undertake integration in Hawk ac as well. In addition SDI is also undertaking development of Mission Planning System, AD Simulator, EW systems etc.
The ensign of SDI exemplifies the role quite clearly. The importance and inseparability of computer and software with military aviation is represented by the combination of the computer and the fighter aircraft in the ensign. Software work is never visible to the end user. IT always works in the background to give the desired outputs. Keeping this in mind the unit motto has been aptly enunciated as Invisible work, Unlimited capability.
Aircraft and weapon systems inducted in the Indian Air Force have seen an increased use of on-board software and embedded systems since the early eighties. For the IAF to exploit the state-of -the art weapon system and airborne platforms, it was essential to have an independent in-house software development and upgrade capability. The first avionics suite on fighter aircraft of IAF, named Display Attack Ranging and Initial Navigation (DARIN) was integrated in India by INAS (Inertial Navigation & Attach Systme) Integrated Organisation (IIO) created for the Jaguar avionics upgrade. The Software Support Centre which was a part of Aircraft & System Testing Establishment since 1985 was renamed and established as an independent unit called Software Development Institute (SDI) in 1992. Subsequently, with the closure of IIO in 1995 the Institute was also tasked to take over, maintain and upgrade the DARIN system. Over the years the task of SDI has broadened to encompass not only maintenance of avionic software, but also integrate new weapons and system on the aircraft in IAF inventory as well as develop software support system that would enhance the operational effectiveness of IAF.
The unit was initially operating from the HAL complex and moved to present location at Kempapura adjacent to Belandur lake on 15 Feb 2003. The first commandant of SDI was Wg Cdr PV Athawale VSM and Air CmdeSK Bhaumik VSM presently commands the unit. SDI has grown from strength to strength and augments the status of Bangalore as the countrys aerospace capital. It also supplements various Defence Research and Development Organisations associated with aeronautics, like Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). SDI is unique and only one of its kind among Asian Air Force.
SDI is located at Kempapura, Bangalore, which is behind the Air port. It is next to ASTE and behind the NAL wind tunnel Test Centre. The approach is from Murugeshpalaya on the Airport Road through Wind Tunnel road.
(a) Wg Cdr PV Athawale 27 Jan 92 to 19 Nov 95
(b) Air Cmde RK Batha VSM 20 Nov 95 to 12 Sep 99
(c) Air Cmde DK Hegde VSM 13 Sep 99 to 10 Dec 2K
(d) Air Cmde W Raymond 11 Dec 2k to 05 Jan 03
(e) Air Cmde D Mathew VSM 06 Jan 03 to 30 Apr 05
(f) Air Cmde SK Bhaumik VSM 01 May 05 to - till date
Air Commodore Sajal Kumar Bhaumik commissioned in the Indian Air Force in the year 1973. He has done his BE (Electronics & Communication) from University of Roorkee (now IIT) in 1971 and M Tech in Computer Science from llT Delhi, in the year 1982.
Air Officer started career in fighter squadron and subsequently, he has worked in all major systems in 31 years of service. After finishing M Tech, he was one of the member of the team that installed first 4th generation Main Frame Computer in Defence Forces, way back in 1983-84.
During his tenure as Commanding Officer, No.1 MRSIU, he had installed and made operational six TRS 2215, one PSM-33 MK-I and six Indra-I Radars. In 1996, he had established Wide Area Network of HQ SW AC and its lodger Units. His most lasting contribution to Air Force is Mobile Air Transportable Calibration Laboratory (MATCAL) as C Sys 0, HQ MC. He did it from conceptualisation to operationalise in one year's time. He had successfully completed analogue to digital conversion of all LOS and TROPO links of 805 SU at Kasauli. He was Chief Instructor at AFTC, Jalahalli, Bangalore. On promotion as an Air officer, he was appointed C Eng O, HQ EAC. During his tenure at HQ EAC, EAC had the unique distinction of winning best Transport Squadron, best Helicopter Squadron and second best Fighter Squadron in the IAF. Presently, he is heading the prestigious Software Development Institute, Bangalore.
The aim of SDI is to attain and maintain the capability to integrate new weapons and system to aircraft in the IAF inventory. Towards this the training objective is to maintain the competence level of the unit to successfully under take the aircraft upgrade and integration tasks.
SDI conducts Software Engineers Course SEC) which is focused at institutionalised training of the engineers who are to be posted for avionics upgrade and integration projects.
There are no separate training facilities but the course is managed using the Institute resources.
Integration of LDP, LGB, VOR, ILS, TACAN, VRS, ELTA, Radar on Jaguar aircraft.
- Development of SMD Pages for Nav Wass Jaguar upgrade.
- Integration of VOR/ILS/TACAN on SU-30 K aircraft.
- EW Class room simulator development.
- Development of EW and NAV Mipsy (Mission Planning System).
- Development of MP & HMS Jaguar & MIG - 27 upgrade aircraft.
- Development of Air Defence Simulator.
Honours and awards
(a) Sqn Ldr K Krishnan (15750) Lgs CAS 08 Oct 96
(b) Gp Capt PV Athawale (13472) AE(L) VSM 26 Jan 97
(c) Sqn Ldr SR Sharma (16310) AE(L) CAS 08 Oct 98
(d) Gp Capt JN Ram pal (13700) AE(L) VSM 26 Jan 99
(e) Flt Lt SK Baroth (23405) AE (L) VCAS 08 Oct 99
(f) Flt Lt Sudhir Rajput (23345) AE (L) CAS 26 Jan 02
(g) Sqn Ldr RK Joshi (22257) Accts AOC-in-C 08 Oct 02
(h) Sqn Ldr JK Raval (18175) Lgs AOC-in-C 26 Jan 03
(j) Wg Cdr RN Prasad (16738) AE (L) CAS 26 Jan 04
(k) Sqn Ldr SK Pathania (19025) AE (L) VCAS 08 Oct 04
(l) Sqn Ldr KN Santosh (20674) AE (L) VSM 26 Jan 05
(m) Wg Cdr WC Peters (17636) AE (L) CAS 26 Jan 05
(a) 671413-L Sgt Heera Kumar Clk GD VCAS 26 Jan 96
(b) 673834-R Sgt S Kumar Rdo Fit VCAS 08 Oct 96
(c) 651078-G JWO SK Khan Rad Fit VCAS 08 Oct 97
(d) 684730-L Sgt Radheyshyam Rad Fit VCAS 08 OCT 98
(e) 654333-B Sgt S Singh Rad Fit VCAS 26 Jan 99
(f) 653201-B JWO AK Chawdhury Rad Fit VCAS 08 Oct 00
(g) 728925-A Cpl Suresh K Clk GD AOC-in-C 08 Oct 00
(h) 629879-K Sgt Sankara NMH Rad Fit AOC-in-C 26 Jan 01
(j) 640960-A Sgt Vanidas M Rdo Fit AOC-in-C 26 Jan 02