UAE Company continues to wait for the final word on CQBs for the Indian Army

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Published: July 4, 2019 3:45:31 PM

The UAE based Company Caracal continues to wait for the decision to be taken on the close-quarter-battle carbines (CQB), worth $ 130 million, even though it has been over a year since it was declared L1.

The Ministry had put the procurement of the CQBs for the Indian Army on the Fast Track Procurement (FTP) process.

The UAE based Company Caracal continues to wait for the decision to be taken on the close-quarter-battle carbines (CQB), worth $ 130 million, even though it has been over a year since it was declared L1. The Company has cleared all the steps after being declared L1 including the commercial negotiating committee (CNC), Acceptance Test Procedure report, and has submitted all the documents as requested by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Speaking on condition of anonymity a top official said that a decision was expected to be taken at the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting to be headed by the new defence minister Rajnath Singh. However, a date for the DAC meeting has yet to be set.

Sources in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) have revealed that the decision on the CQB got delayed as the General Elections were announced and with the new government in office, a decision is expected soon.

The official also confirmed that the delay in the final decision will come up during talks between the Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE and external affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar next week.

Accompanied by a senior-level delegation, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be on a three-day visit from July 7-9 and will also call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Besides the CQBs, the two leaders are also expected to discuss further about UAE’s interest in buying `Made in India’ Akash surface-to-air missile system as well as the BrahMos Missile. India and Russia have both agreed ‘in principle’ to export the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile, BrahMos, to UAE as there is no conflict of interest.

The government of that country is also seeking the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) developed Astra 70-kilometre range air-to-air missile, which can be fitted on French fighter jets the Mirage that their Air Force is operating.

Both countries have elevated their relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and the visit would provide the two sides with an opportunity to explore new areas of cooperation to further strengthen their Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

While the Oversight Committee in its report to the MoD urged a re-look at the requirement for the CQBs, there have been several representations from the government of the UAE as well as the Caracal Company.

The Ministry had put the procurement of the CQBs for the Indian Army on the Fast Track Procurement (FTP) process.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the UAE is India’s third-largest trade partner and fourth largest energy supplier and is also the first country to participate in India’s ‘Strategic Petroleum Reserves’ programme.

What is FTP?

Under this process, there is no general staff evaluation. Critical trials are based on operational requirements of the service headquarters. Within one year after the signing of the contract, the company has to start deliveries.

The UAE based company has already agreed to manufacture the carbines in India under the Make in India Initiative. According to the Indian Army, it has a requirement of nine lakh CQBs, and the trials for the CQBs were done in different terrains, with local ammunitions in and outside India.

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