ISRAEL TO HELP BUILD INDIA’S FUTURE SOLDIER EQUIPMENT
By Bulbul Singh
09 Nov 13. India has tied up with Israel to develop and produce varieties of equipment for use by the Indian Army to arm its infantry soldiers, as part of its Futuristic Infantry Soldier (F-INSAS)programme worth over $3 billion.
Reluctant to buy equipment from the overseas market on a competitive basis, India decided to collaborate with overseas companies to develop equipment and then sell it to the Indian Army. The initial order is for 10,000 troops which will expand further to equip every soldier in the (1.1 million) Indian Army.
The Indian Army formulated F-INSAS in 2006 but the procurement of weaponry and equipment has not begun in significant numbers. The Indian Army formulated F-INSAS in 2006 but the procurement of weaponry and equipment has not begun in significant numbers.
DRDO has tied up with Israeli companies to develop several equipments under the F-INSAS Programme. In the latest tie up between DRDO and Israel, an advanced portable Command and Control System will be developed in India and then produced for use by both Israel and India.
The System will be integrated with the Indian Army’s network centric warfare systems, including the Battlefield Management System and the proposed Tactical Communication System, which are under development in India.
Interestingly, while the major network centric warfare programmes are not being given to overseas companies on grounds of secrecy, the Israeli companies have been allowed to cooperate in the development of the Command and Control system, regarded as a secret and strategic project. The involvement of Israel in these programmes from the development stage confirms the level to which India has confidence in Israel.
Israel has taken full advantage of this faith and confidence and has entered the Indian defence market via the DRDO, developing several hi-tech missile and EW programmes for the Indian defence forces. Israel’s aim is to production and source the sub systems and other hi-tech intermediate systems in the equipment being developed.
Apart from the Command and Control project, Israel is also eyeing the development of C4I systems including the development of a radio which will integrate C4I capabilities.
The weapons and equipment to be procured under F-INSAS include helmet-mounted display systems, anti-tank rifles, anti-mine boots, software-embedded communication systems, GPS, T/I sights, precision guided ammunition, protective clothing and other equipment.
The helmet subsystem will be light, made from advanced material, and also house the microphone unit for the data/voice radio and Head Up Display and an NBC gas mask and personal computer. Besides, the equipment will include clothing with protection from CBRNE agents.