Israeli defense companies have been invited to bid in an Indian Army tender for the purchase of 50,000 rifles, “Defense News” reports.
According to the weekly, the Indian Army is planning to upgrade the equipment of its infantry units. Indian military planners are currently considering future infantry models, including the infantry program of the US Army, an overall technological project for the future soldier; Israel’s future infantry program; and South Africa’s African soldier program.
The Indian Army is planning to equip its soldiers with an upgraded 5.56 mm assault rifle, sights and observation equipment installed on helmets, a radio and data communications system, and armor and survival equipment.
Within 3-4 months, the Indian Army plans to publish an international tender for the purchase of 50,000 rifles. Companies from Israel, Germany, South Africa, and the US will be eligible.
”Defense News” says that all bids must include a program for transferring rifle technologies to India in order to make local production possible.
Rifles offered in the tender are likely to include electro-optical components, such as thermal sights, holographic sights, video cameras and still photographs, a digital compass, and a global positioning system (GPS). Other equipment is likely to include a digital map and a battlefield identification system. A fire control computer will coordinate all the elements, and make it possible to use electronically summoned air blast ammunition. Rifles will also be equipped with a grenade launcher.
The Indian Army is also planning to buy several thousand light helmets with equipment for distributing data from sensors and other digital information. Battle suits will include ballistic armor and atomic-biological-chemical (ABC) identification kits. The suits, made of infrared-absorbing camouflage materials capable of changing color to match the surroundings, will minimize physical pressure on the body.