In an effort to give a boost to its operational capabilities and to modernize its infantry, the Indian Army has issued two Requests for Proposals (RFP) for procuring 7,000 body worn camera systems, and around 1,612 ballistic shields with harnesses. These two items are going to be purchased through emergency procurement through the Fast Track Procedure (FTP).
Specifications for Ballistic shields
The indigenous content in these ballistic shields should be upto 50 percent. It should have a service life of five years and the maker, according to the RFP, has to provide 60 months warranty for the ballistic shield and 24 months for the harness.
The design should be of ambidextrous, and height not less than 860 mm and the width should not be less than 520 mm. The weight of the ballistic shield should not be over 20 kg plus 5 percent. And ballistic view port and accessories should be attached to the shield.
According to the RFP there should be a harness which will enable hands-free carriage of ballistic shields and once worn should ensure unhindered usage of personal weapons and balanced weight distribution.
Specifications for Body-worn camera
This device is used by the soldiers for real time video and images and will be useful during counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations. These are small and video recording devices, are compact in size and light weight of about 200 gms and the soldier will wear it on his uniform.
The battery life should be for around 12 hours of video capturing and for recording there should be two independent video streams – for local record and remote view.
The RFP has specified that it should be able to burn in officer ID, location, date, device ID and time and should be capable of operating in extreme temperatures from almost minus 20 degree C to 45 degree C and should be able to support encryption. Also the data gathered should not be editable and the encrypted video should play only on a special player.
What is FTP and Emergency procurement?
Emergency financial powers have been granted by the government to the armed forces to procure certain items which are required urgently up to Rs 300 crore. These have been used in the past on three different occasions – during Uri surgical strikes in 2016; Balakot air strike in 2019; and during the border standoff with China in eastern Ladakh in 2020.
Financial Express Online has reported earlier that for FTP through the emergency procurement route no further approvals are required. The objective of the procedure is to cut down the decision making process.
In the recent months the Indian Army has issued several RFPs – for 80 mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, 163 high altitude logistic drones, and 1,000 surveillance copters among others.