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By Bulbul Singh

13 Nov 06. The Indian Army has formulated a multi-million dollar plan under which the infantry soldier will be equipped with a variety of modern weaponry to impart, lethality, survivability and mobility to the future Indian soldier. The plan has been based on Land Warrior in the United States and other countries including Israel.

The Indian infantry troops numbering around 500,000 will be equipped with hi-tech equipment worth $1bn in the next three to five years for boosting its fire-power, communication and surveillance capabilities to face new challenges of land warfare and continuing low-intensity conflicts. The future infantry soldier will be integrated with the C4I network as well.

The weaponry and equipment which will be bought mostly from overseas vendors will include advanced Anti-tank Guided Missiles [ATGM] launchers; Bullet proof vehicles; anti-material rifles; new generation carbines; battle surveillance radars; Thermal Imaging Sights for ATGM launchers; ground sensors; secure communication systems; precision guided ammunition; laser rangefinder to provide the soldier with range and direction information; and light clothing and bullet proof jackets.

Besides, the equipment for the future infantry soldier will include clothing with protection from nuclear, biological and chemical agents; advanced radio; anti-mine protection; so far, most of the Indian weaponry is from Russia and the CIS countries. The Indian soldier will also be integrated with the Indian army’s network centric warfare program which is already underway. The Indian soldier has already been linked with the homegrown communication system-Mercury Thunder which is a digitized battlefield system.

An Indian Army official said a new concept on future soldier has already been adopted and cleared by the Indian defence ministry titled Future Infantry Soldier As a System (F-INSAS). All the future modernization programs for the infantry solider of the Indian army will form part of the (F-INSAS) and finance will not be a problem said the official.

The Indian Army official said that the future infantry soldier will have effective military response through rapid deployment. Ultimately The Weapon Platform of the infantry soldier would include a computer-radio system with an in-built Global Positioning System which will be the heart of the Weapon Platform. The computer will display various features including digital maps, graphics and text on the screen of the Head-Up display said the Indian army official who added that this would be part of the long-term plan on modernization of the Indian soldier which is likely to be completed in the next 10 years.

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