The Indian Army was handed over a consignment of indigenously developed equipment and systems which go a long way in enhancing the capabilities of the force. The indigenously developed equipment and systems include Future Infantry Soldier as a System (F-INSAS), new generation anti-personnel mine ‘Nipun’, rugged and automatic communication system with enhanced capabilities, upgraded sights system for tanks and advanced thermal imagers.
State-of-the art high mobility Infantry Protected Vehicles and Assault Boats were virtually handed over by the minister, enabling the troops deployed along the borders to respond to any challenge in a befitting manner. The equipment and systems have been jointly developed by Indian Army in collaboration with Defence Public Sector Undertakings, Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and the industry, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to modernize the Armed Forces, under the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’, Defence Ministry said.
Defence Minister exuded confidence that the equipment and systems will enhance the operational preparedness of the Indian Army and increase their efficiency. It is a shining example of the country’s growing self-reliance prowess, in partnership with the private sector and other institutions, he said.
The minister asserted that the infrastructural needs of the armed forces are increasing with constantly changing times. He called for infrastructural development based on latest technology to help the armed forces remain prepared to deal with future challenges.
Under F-INSAS, infantry soldiers would be equipped with three primary sub-systems. The first sub system is the modern state-of-the-art assault rifle along with day and night holographic and reflex sights. The sights are mounted on the weapon and also on helmet to enable a 360-degree visibility and accuracy in operational conditions. In addition to the primary weapon system, soldiers will also be kitted with multi-mode hand grenade, which has also been procured indigenously, along with multi-purpose knife.
The second sub-system is protection system. This gives protection through a specially designed helmet and a bullet proof jacket. The third sub-system consists of communication and surveillance system. This F-INSAS system is capable of further upgradation by incorporating real time data connectivity.
With the efforts of Armament Research and Development Establishment, Pune, and private sector defence companies, a new Indian mine called Nipun has been developed. It will enhance the protection provided to the troops on the borders. The mine is more potent and effective than the existing anti-personnel mine.
Other equipment that has been indigenously developed is hand-held thermal imager (uncooled). It gives visibility in both day and night and in adverse weather conditions to the soldiers to detect enemy movement and activities. Similarly, Commander Thermal Imaging Sight for T-90 tank gives enhanced visibility and range to the commanders of armored columns. Earlier, in T-90 tanks had image intensification systems, which had its own limitations and constraints. The limitations have been overcome with the introduction of thermal imaging sight produced by India Optel Limited.
Downlink equipment with recording facility helps helicopters in carrying out constant reconnaissance and surveillance of the borders and operational areas. While on missions, reconnaissance data observed is recorded in the system and can be accessed only when the helicopter returns to the base. The Advanced Light Helicopters are already fitted with the latest generation of indigenously developed downlink equipment.
Indian Army had exchanges that provided line communications to the operationally deployed units. However, there were limitations in terms of numbers of subscribers and quantum of data that could be communicated. Also, the equipment could not work with latest internet protocol technology. Semi Ruggedized Automatic Exchange System Mk-II, a new system has been developed by the Bharat Electronics Limited, which overcomes all inadequacies of the older system.
In challenging forward areas, where no lines or other forms of communication are available, Indian Army has to extend its communication system. With this radio relay system, forward troops are in a position to operate their communication equipment and radio sets at much longer ranges and in greater depths than before. This is an advanced system with frequency hopping technology and has been developed by Bharat Electronics Limited, Bengaluru.
One of the most challenging terrains and operational sectors of the country is the Siachen Glacier. The complete power requirement in the area to operate various equipment was met only through a captive generator supply. A solar photo-voltaic plant has been installed to improve the overall energy requirements and also obviate dependence on fossil fuels. This plant at Partapur was virtually dedicated to the Nation by the minister.
Among other indigenously developed equipment include Landing Craft Assault (LCA), which is much more versatile and has overcome the limitations of launch, speed and capacity. It has enhanced the capability to operate across the water obstacles in Eastern Ladakh. The LCA has been s Aquarius Shipyard Limited, Goa.
Similarly, mini Remotely Piloted Aerial System (RPAS) removes the operational limitations faced by the Indian Air Force aircraft and the Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicles at tactical level. It will improve the army’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities at the battalion and mechanized unit levels.
Infantry Protected Mobility Vehicle (IPMV) provides mobility and more protection to a large number of infantry soldiers posted at the Northern Borders. It has been made by Tata Advance Systems Limited. The second vehicle along with the Infantry Mobility Protected Vehicle for enhanced mobility of our troops in Eastern Ladakh is the Quick Reaction Fighting Vehicle (Medium). It facilitates quick deployment of troops and will enable much faster reaction. The vehicles have been procured from Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. These are tailor-made vehicles with high mobility, enhanced firepower & protection. It will facilitate in creating moral ascendency in our Northern Borders.