Indian Army fast-tracks procurement of close-quarter-battle carbines; deal worth $553.33 mn in offing

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New Delhi | Published: December 19, 2018 6:34:38 PM

The Indian Army is fast tracking the procurement of 93,895 close-quarter-battle carbines (CQB), a deal worth $553.33 mn.

Indian Army, INSAS rifles, close quarter battle carbines, Ministry of Defence, Make in India initiativeThe delay in the 93,895 CQBs was due to the series of complaints against Caracal of the UAE which was shortlisted as the lowest bidder for the deal.

The Indian Army is fast tracking the procurement of 93,895 close-quarter-battle carbines (CQB), a deal worth $553.33 mn. A source confirmed to FE Online that the procedure for the procurement of the CQBs is on track and by the close of the financial year 2018-19, the contract will be inked. “There were issues but those have been resolved and after Fast Track Procedure for the CQBs, it is at the Technical Oversight stage before it goes to the contract Negotiations Committee (CNC). It is expected that the contract will be inked soon as the Indian Army needs to replace age-old ‘INSAS’ rifles which has reliability issues.”

As has been reported earlier, the Indian Army had been unable finding the right replacement either from foreign OEMs or from the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). The delay in the 93,895 CQBs was due to the series of complaints against Caracal of the UAE which was shortlisted as the lowest bidder for the deal.

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Other bidders who including French Company Thales and S&T Motiv of South Korea had raised objections and sent complaints to the Ministry of Defence (MoD). As reported by FE ONLINE earlier, the Embassy of South Korea in New Delhi had protested against being declared non compliant in spite of meeting all the requirements laid down in the request for proposal.

Highly placed sources also confirmed that the company from South Korea was upset as it had cleared the trials both and met all the requirements as set out by the Indian Army. The nine member team had gone to facilities of the competing companies before being invited for the extensive trials in India for testing with the Indian ammunition and in different terrains and temperature.

As has been reported earlier by FE, a nine-member committee headed by an Army brigadier has been receiving complaints regarding non compliance of Caracal of UAE. “The company from the UAE had failed to submit its response as per the format of the commercial bid and the amount of Rs 70 crore was not reflected in the bid format which is used for determination of L1 vendor.”

When South Korean President Moon Jae-in had visited India in July, representatives of the S&T Motiv, producers of small arms for the last four decades were part of the delegation. During the delegation level talks the company had offered to transfer technology to produce the CQBs under Make in India initiative.

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