NEW DELHI: After conducting “successful cross-border surgical strikes” in opposition to terrorist hubs, first in Myanmar in June 2015 after which in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in September 2016, India is now fasttracking some lengthy-delayed modernisation of the Army’s Special Forces to make them much more deadly and cellular for clandestine warfare.
Defence ministry sources on Tuesday stated “restricted” tenders have been issued to choose international arms firms for acquisition of new assault rifles, sniper rifles, common function machine weapons, mild-weight rocket launchers, tactical shotguns, pistols, evening-imaginative and prescient units and ammunition. “Seven tenders or RFPs (request for proposals) were issued last week to American, Israeli, Swedish and other companies for acquisition of the specialised weaponry on a fast-track basis. Separately in a different capital acquisition project, trials are in progress to acquire over 120 light strike vehicles, which can be carried by helicopters, for the Special Forces,” stated a supply.
This follows quickly after India inked a flurry of emergency offers price round Rs 20,000 crore for ammunition and spares for the Army, Navy and IAF to guarantee they’re prepared to go to battle at quick discover, and maintain the excessive-tempo operations for at the least 10 days, as was reported earlier by TOI.
The elite Special Forces within the 1.3-million Army represent simply 9 Para-Special Forces and 5 Para (Airborne) battalions, every with 620 troopers chosen after arduous coaching to stretch their psychological and bodily capabilities to the restrict. So, the numbers and prices concerned within the new set of procurements are comparatively a lot smaller. The tender for brand spanking new 9mm pistols, with silencers, for example, is for nearly 500 items, whereas the one for assault rifles is restricted to 1,120 for now. “If the new weapons prove effective, larger repeat orders will be placed at a later stage,” stated a supply.
The Special Forces have already got specialised weaponry, starting from Israeli 5.56mm TAR-21 Tavor assault rifles and 7.62mm Galil sniper rifles to American M4A1 carbines and Swedish Carl Gustav rocket launchers, in addition to gear. But the necessity for lighter, new-technology weapons was felt throughout the cross-border raid in opposition to the camps run by north-japanese rebel teams in Myanmar on June 9, 2015.
The Indian commandos, carrying enormous weapon masses, together with rocket launchers and flame-throwers, had to quietly cross over 6km of the thickly-forested terrain to attain their targets and hit them with full pressure underneath the duvet of darkness, after which take an alternate route again to evade detection.
“Though the mission achieved its objectives, the Army subsequently conveyed to the country’s top political authorities that lighter equipment was required for the Special Forces,” stated one other supply.