INDIA TO BUY INFANTRY WEAPONRY ON FAST TRACK BASIS FROM GLOBAL MARKET
By Bulbul Singh
17 Sep 09. In order to raise specialized infantry troops the Indian government has decided to upgrade the weaponry of the special forces. The government has set up a fast track route to procure variety of weaponry gears and $500 mission has been embarked to meet this requirement.
The $500 million order cleared by the Indian government for the immediate purchase from the global market is part of a big ticket $5 billion purchase program under which infantry troops will be equipped with advanced weaponry.
The Indian defence ministry has been given clearance by the Indian defence ministry to purchase Helmet Mounted Display systems, anti-tank rifles, thermal imaging sights, precision guided ammunition, protective clothing and other weapons and equipment. Tenders will be floated in the next one-to-two months. The procurement will be made on
a Fast Track basis and a single vendor could be chosen, said a defence ministry official.
Around 10000 troops are to be trained with the new weapons and
equipment for specialized warfare by the Israelis at India’s
training facilities at Mhow Infantry Training School, in the
state of Madhya Pradesh, said sources in the Indian Army.
The special forces will be trained to fight behind enemy lines and to fight quick and decisive battles.
The objective of the plan is to enhance the capabilities of infantry
soldier in terms of lethality, mobility, survivability, sustainability, situational awareness and battle command so as to improve his operational adaption and make him a multi-mission warfighter.
The Indian Army is also raising another 15000 mountain troops for
deployment along the Indo-Chinese border. It is not known whether the current purchase program is for equipping part of these mountain troops.
Sources in the Indian Army however said that another big ticket
purchase is in the offing for equipping these mountain troops. There has been heightened tension on the disputed border for sometime, with reports of cross-border firing. The two countries fought a brief battle in 1962 over the disputed territory, an issue which still has to be resolved.
So far the Indian Army has been concentrating on the western Indo-Pakistani border and the specialized troops being raised with Israeli help will have the capability to fight from behind enemy lines. These troops will be equipped to fight the Taliban inside their own territory , said sources in the Indian Army.
Under the plan to be executed over the next 10 years, the Indian Army plans to train the infantry soldier to operate in the information age battlespace through use of digital technologies.
The Indian Army has wanted to equip its troops with new generation equipment for the last seven years, the process of procurement will begin with this purchase.
Equipment on the wish list for the future infantry soldier includes
clothing with protection from nuclear, biological and chemical agents;
advanced radio systems; night and laser aiming sights; Global
Positioning System (GPS) navigation equipment; armored vehicles with
anti-mine protection; and weapon systems such as rocket launchers,
mortars, fire-control systems, automatic grenade launchers and
anti-tank weapons, The new clothing will be made of protective
materials and will house sensors.