Noting that cyber attacks could cause destruction on an unprecedented scale, former president APJ Abdul Kalam on Thursday stressed on the need to equip future officers of armed forces to envisage and combat technology-driven warfare.
"The whole war environment will be a network centric warfare and it could be electronically controlled. Sometimes space encounters, deep sea encounters and ballistic missile encounters.
"The winner of future warfare will be the officer who can visualise the strength of the enemy not based on the earlier war but based on the current capacities and technology advancements in the global scenario," Kalam said, after the convocation ceremony at the Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (MCEME) in Hyderabad.
"Our armed forces officers will have to get trained in virtual reality-based, simulated warfares of all the terrains and extreme conditions of the warfare," he said.
The key to becoming a strong nation is to have economic and military strength together, he said.
"India is capable of technological advancements. We have developed expertise alongwith technology in remote-sensing, communication satellites, strategic missile system, electronic warfare system, LCA, naval system among others.
"There is a need to integrate all the technologies and build an indigenous system which will meet the needs of the defence services of our country," he said.
Referring to cyber warfare and challenges, he said in an electronically-connected world, many nations will be endangered in future due to cyber war which can create destruction effortlessly at the speed of light that even Intercontinental Ballistic Missile and other nuclear weapons can become insignificant.
"Nowadays, nations have electronically connected in all the economic, defence and national security establishments which would be the target for cyber attacks during a conflict or to create instabilities," he said, adding that a country can get defeated without a missile or aircraft attack just through intelligence cyber war.
Kalam said, "In technology-centric crimes and war, the crime may originate from a strange place outside the nation shores and may damage the organisational wealth which will be in digital form."
If information is not handled in a secure way, it can be intercepted and even modified, he said and stressed the need to put in place a system which can detect vulnerabilities and respond to the security loopholes dynamically in the event of cyber attacks.
Along with different kinds of warfare, the tools of war have also changed to economic competition, control of market forces, essential items like energy, he said, adding that in the next two decades, anti-ballistic defence systems are going to be a major force.
Earlier, the former President conferred degrees and awards to the engineering graduates. A total of 22 officers of 92 Degree Engineering Course and 22 officers of 19 Technical Entry Scheme Course were awarded Bachelor of Technology Degree from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi during the convocation ceremony.
MCEME Commandant Lt Gen S M Mehta also spoke on the occasion.