The Indian Air Force on Saturday informed that it has signed a contract with state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for the procurement of software-based light weight man-portable radio communication sets. The indigenously developed communication sets will use components implemented by the means of software as against the conventional ones that use analogue hardware for the purpose.

"The Indian Air Force has signed a contract with Bharat Electronics Limited, for procurement of Light Weight Man Portable modern communication Sets. These Indigenous Software Designed Radio (SDR) technology-based sets will provide a boost to the IAF's Communication Network," the Air Force posted via its official handle on social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

The order placed by IAF is in line with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government's efforts to reduce India's dependence on imports for its military needs. BEL is a 'Navratna' undertaking of the Government of India under Ministry of Defence. It has previously designed the Akash Air Defence Weapon System, Coastal Surveillance System, Weapon Locating Radar and 3D Tactical Control Radar used by various arms of India's Armed Forces.

Besides designing and manufacturing defence equipment, the Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) also specialises in the production of non-military equipment. The Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) used across the nation for State Assembly and Lok Sabha elections have been designed by BEL. The company also produced around 30,000 ICU ventilators in a record time during the COVID-19 pandemic.