QUANTUM TECHNOLOGY IN DEFENCE

Recently the Indian army has started procurement of Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology which has been indigenously developed by an Indian cybersecurity firm. With this step, India is all set to join the league of global leaders with indigenous and more advanced quantum communication technology in order to equip its Armed Forces with high-end defence.

Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) Technology

QKD is primarily a mechanism to undertake secure communication with a cryptographic protocol involving various components of quantum mechanics.

Process Flow: 

The technology enables two sides to come up with random secret keys shared by both and known exclusively to them, so only they can use it to encrypt and decrypt messages, thus achieving a very highly-secure communication.

Key Sharing: 

The distribution of encryption keys is the crucial factor for this. Sharing of keys over the air or wired links requires encryption, which in turn requires encryption keys to be pre-shared. Thus Quantum-tech based communication offers a robust solution to sharing the keys securely.

Usage and Application:

QKD helps in creating a non-hackable quantum channel for creating unhackable encryption keys between two points separated by a certain distance in terrestrial optical fibre infrastructure. These keys are in turn used to encrypt critical data or voice or video across the endpoints.

Advantages

  • It can detect any data leak or hacking or any such attempt
  • It allows a certain degree of error level between the intercepted data.
  • The encryption is unbreakable because data is carried via the photons.

Significance:

  • Secure communications are vital not just for the defence and strategic agencies across the globe but also for various civilian applications.
  • India is the world’s largest defence equipment importer and is expected to spend around USD 220 Billion in the coming decade to modernize its armed forces.
  • Quantum technology and its applications such as QKD can help in achieving India’s goal of self-reliance and boost its defence capabilities and thus reducing its reliance on the west or other countries.
  • While India has come a long way in quantum technology since 2019, but in the AZADI KA AMRIT KAAL more needs to be done to bear the fruits of Quantum technology than only its quest to guard the nation using technology can be fulfilled.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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