India is all set to join the elite global club, with the Army will soon possess indigenous and more advanced quantum communication technology, equipping troops with a high-end secured defence system.
Under the aegis of Innovation for Defence Excellence (iDEX), a Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO), the QNu Labs, a Bengaluru-based deep tech start-up, has broken distance barriers by innovating advanced secured communication through Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) systems, said the defence ministry.
After the successful trials, the ministry stated that, for its deployment, the Army has initiated the procurement process of QNu Labs developed QKD systems by issuing a commercial Request For Proposal (RFP).
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China, the US, Canada and other European countries are global leaders in the QKD systems in which Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) has made some breakthroughs. "Quantum technology has a huge potential for military application and a disruptive impact on modern-day warfare. A QKD system allows the creation of a quantum secure secret pair of symmetric keys between two endpoints, separated by a certain distance (in this case, over 150 Kms) in terrestrial optical fibre infrastructure," stated the ministry. The QKD, explained the MoD, helps create a non-hackable quantum channel for creating un-hackable encryption keys, which are used to encrypt critical data/voice/video across the endpoints.
Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, buoyed by the developments, termed the innovation of indigenously QKD technology as a "milestone achievement" in ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal’ and a befitting success story of Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India). Kumar appreciated the efforts of iDEX start-ups working in deep tech as they are equipping the armed forces with innovative solutions for modern and futuristic warfare.
Like other advanced militaries, the Army is actively exploring this technology as an enabler to fuse a large density of data and decision support capability to securely deliver communication to troop leaders at various levels.
QNu Labs co-founder and CEO Sunil Gupta stated that the vision of putting India at the forefront of deep technologies in data security through Quantum technology use has finally borne fruits. "Winning the Open Challenge-2 of iDEX has provided a launching pad to QNu Labs to achieve this stellar success," Gupta commented.