NETWORK CENTRIC NETWORK AMONG $4.5 BILLION DEFENCE PROJECT
APPROVED BY INDIA
By Bulbul Singh
28 Jun 12. A dedicated network centric warfare system worth $1.5 billion for the Indian Air Force(IAF)is part of the $4.5 billion big ticket acquisition package approved by the Indian defence ministry. India will now buy additional Dornier aircraft, 30mm guns for the Indian Navy and buy Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missiles (QRSAM) systems to replacing the aging Russian Kvadrat air defence system at a cost of over $2 billion. In addition, the Indian army has also been allowed to buy bullet proof vehicles.
After failing to buy QRSAM systems from the global market in response to a 2008 tender, the Indian Army will once again enter the global market to buy eight regiments (one regiment is equivalent to 18 systems) of QRSAM systems to shore its air defence need by replacing the aging Russian Kvadrat air defence systems currently in operation. The 2008 tender was reduced to a single vendor as only Rafael of Israel for the competition resulting in the scrapping of the tender itself in 2010. The tender was sent to Rafael of Israel, MBDA and Thales of France, Raytheon of the United States, Rheinmetall of Germany and KBP Tula of Russia.
Sources say, “Overseas defence companies will tie up with domestic defence majors to get into the competition as the project is on “Buy and Make” basis and will also involve defence offsets worth 30% of the total amount of the tender and as such it is prudent for the overseas company to partner with a domestic company.
Rheinmetall Sweden will not be offered the tender this time as the Indian defence ministry has banned the Swedish company from doing business with India in March this year after alleged involvement in corruption cases involving the state-owned Ordnance Factories Board.
Tata Power and Larsen & Toubro and the Ordnance Factories Board are already hunting for overseas partners to compete for the big ticket tender for WRSAMs which is estimated to by over $2 billion.
QRSAM systems procured will be deployed for providing air defence to the mechanized formations operating in the plains, semi-desert and desert sectors QRSAM is a low and medium level, quick reaction ground based surface-to-air missile system capable of moving with mechanized forces and providing intrinsic mobile air defence protection. The QRSAM should be a quick reaction missile system capable of engaging all types of air targets and should be able to effectively engage aerial targets flying with speed from zero meters per second to 500 meters per second up to 15 kilometers altitude. The all-weather QRSAM systems must be based on High mobility vehicles and systems able to operate continuously for 24/7.
The system will be composed of a combat vehicle, radar, surveillance Command Post and technical and communication systems. The radar should have a 360 degree surveillance, track and scan capability with a tracking range of not less than 28 kilometers and detect targets up to an altitude of 15 kilometers. The other requirements include possession of advanced ECCM features by the QRSAM system so that the radar is able to work in intense Electronic Warfare environment. The QRSAM should have a Nuclear Biological and Chemical protection.
Though all the participating bidders have operational QRSAM systems which can meet Indian Army’s demand but the biggest challenge will be the maintenance of the technology transfer of the missile.
The Indian Air Force will set up additional nodes of the Integrated Air Command and Control, IACCS system. The fully-automated network to integrate the wide array of military radars with each other as well as with civilian radars. The first five nodes of IACCS have been nearly completed and additional five more nodes of IACCS will be set up at a cost of around $1.5 billion by state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). The project will be given on nomina