05 Jun 11. India is buying Long Range Mortars (LRM) and up to 60,000 pieces of ammunition from the global market. The formal bids have been sent to defence companies in Europe, United States, Russia and Israel. The ammunition will be High Explosive Standard and High Explosive (H.E.) Assisted. India will seek transfer of technology for licensed production.
The LRM should be less than 600 kilograms in firing position and capable of being towed by an in-service vehicle. In addition, it should be possible to transport the LRM on existing Indian Railway trucks. The LRM should also be transportable by the Indian Air Force IL-76.
The LRM should be able to engage targets up to a range of 12000 meters. The firing mode should be Gravity and Lanyard-assisted and should have a sustained rate of fire of 60 bombs within 30 minutes without laying (Gravity mode). In addition, the LRM should be able to function satisfactorily under a temperature of -20 to +45 degrees Celsius and must be capable of being stored in this temperature range.
The life of the mortar barrel should not be less than 4000 Effective Full Charge’s (EFC) when fired, the highest charge and life of the barrel will have to be vendor certified.
The vendors will be required to produce at least one mortar with all subsystems and types of ammunition for the user trials in India.
Technology Transfer will be provided by the vendor to Ordnance Factory Board, Kolkata which will be the production agency for the LRM’s. The key technologies for Technology Transfer ammunition would be mechanical fuze, parachutes, primary and secondary cartridge and propellant and pyrotechnic and explosive composition and also rocket motor, including rocket motor charges for H.E. associated with the bomb.
The Technology Transfer will be comprehensive, covering all aspects of design, manufacture, assembly and integration.
India is also producing lightweight modular hand grenades developed by
DRDO, bulk production of which began last year. These will replace the existing M-36 H.E. grenades.
The new grenade called Shivalik uses a modular plastic body and pre-formed cylindrical mild steel fragments for uniform distribution of fragments to overcome these deficiencies. Additional features have been incorporated into the fuse’s arming mechanism to ensure greater safety during storage, transportation and airdropping. Fragmentation distribution can also be controlled for use in offensive or defensive roles by attachment of a fragmentation sleeve. The use of plastic has also resulted in reduction of the grenade’s overall weight. The grenade can be para-dropped if urgent re-supplies are needed and can function in temperatures ranging from minus 20 to 55°C.