Observing extensive use of drones and close combat weapon systems on ground in various conflicts across the globe, the government goes big in terms of procurement of stealth unmanned combat air vehicles and battle carbines. The defence ministry approved procurement of swarm drones, bulletproof jackets and carbines worth Rs 28,732 crores on Tuesday under Buy (Indian IDDM) and Buy (Indian) categories.
In an official statement issued by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), at the Defence Acquisition Committee (DAC) headed by defence minister Rajnath Singh, has accorded AoN for Bullet Proof Jackets with Indian Standard BIS VI level of protection. In 2019, Financial Express Online had reported that India will have for the first time its own Standard for Bullet Proof Jackets (BPJ): IS17051:2018.
DAC has also approved AoN for the induction of almost four Close Quarter Battle Carbines which will help the Indian soldiers to face emerging threats of hybrid and conventional warfare and counter-terrorism at the borders. These CQBs are expected to replace the Indian Army’s 9 mm 1A1 `Sterling’ Carbine.
Close Quarter Carbines (CQB)
In 2021, a fresh Request for Information (RFI) was issued by the Indian Army for procuring 93,895 Close Quarter Carbines (CQB), after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had cancelled initial plans to procure these CQBs from a UAE based company Caracal.
Financial Express Online had reported early last year that the RfI was sent to several foreign companies including — Colt (US), SiG Sauer (US), Beretta (Italy), Thales of France, Caracal (UAE) and Adani Defence and the CQBs had to be procured under the Fast Track Procedure (FTP).
What is the Indian Army looking for?
Since these CQBs are expected to be used in different terrains and temperatures, the Indian Army has specified that they should be able to be operating in extreme minus 20 Degrees Celsius to plus 45 Degrees Celsius.
These CQBs will be manufactured in India with a large indigenous content.
DRDO makes carbines for Indian Army
Financial Express has reported earlier that Defence Research and Development (DRDO) has been working on Joint Venture Protective Carbine (JVPC). The 5.56×30 Protective Carbine is a gas operated Semi Bull-pup automatic weapon and has a 700 rpm rate of fire.
As reported earlier, based on the Indian Army’s GSQR, the DRDO carbine has been designed by one of its labs Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune.
Today’s DAC decision is expected to provide impetus to the small arms manufacturing industry in India and to help in giving a push to the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative in small arms.
More DAC decisions
To give a boost to the indigenous manufacturing of gas turbine generators, Indian Navy’s request to procure an upgraded 1250KW capacity Marine Gas Turbine Generator for power generation application onboard Kolkata class of ships through Indian Industry too received the DAC stamp of approval.
To further enhance the security in the coastal region, the proposal of procurement of 14 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) for the Indian Coast Guard under the Buy (Indian-IDDM) with 60 per cent indigenous content has also been approved.