Following footsteps of paramilitary forces and the National Security Guard (NSG), who have gone in for accelerated purchase of night vision devices after the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai, the armed forces are now taking steps to improve their night fighting capabilities, according to Frontier India News Network.
Army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor, had said in 2010 that “Indian Army’s tanks have a night vision capability of 20 percent while Pakistani’s have 80 percent and China has 100 percent”.
The armed forces will review their doctrine, capabilities and shortcomings and also identify latest trends and technologies at a two-day seminar “Night Vision India 2013? on 16-17 January.
The Centre for Land Warfare Studies, a think tank of the Indian Army is organising the seminar at the Air Force Auditorium here in collaboration with IMR Media, a publishing and event organising company.
Delegates from the three Services will discuss tactics, techniques, and procedures that maximize our night-fighting technological advantages while countering the enemy’s night capabilities.
The Army’s objective is to equip over 1,600 T-72 tanks which form the backbone of the country’s armoured forces, with advanced night fighting capabilities. The Army’s case for acquiring 700 TISAS (thermal imaging stand alone systems) and 418 TIFACS (thermal fire control systems) for its T-72 fleet at a cost of around $230 million is in various stages of the procurement process. 300 Israeli TISAS were imported, followed by 3,860 image intensifier-based night-vision devices. A huge requirement persists. 310 T-90S main-battle tanks (MBTs) were imported from Russia and fitted with French Catherine TI cameras.
Indian Army T-72 Ajeya Tank on Display According to Major General RK Arora, ediotr of Indian Military Review magazine, Army also requires hand held thermal imaging (HHTI) sights (with laser range finder) for infantry, armoured, air defence, artillery and engineer regiments. The infantry is also looking for TI sights for medium machine guns and sniper rifles. RFIs for night sights for AK-47 assault rifles and other small arms have also been issued.
Senior officers of the armed forces will address the delgates. Among them are Lt Gen Narendra Singh, Deputy chief of the army staff, Lt Gen Philip Campose, director general of perspective planning, Lt Gen JS Bajwa, director general Infantry and Lt Gen Vijay Sharma, engineer- in-cheif among others.
Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) is the biggest supplier of night vision equipment to the armed forces. Anil Kumar, chairman & managing director of BEL is expected to give an overview of BEL’s current and future plans.
BEL recently supplied 30,600 passive night sights for rifles, rocket launchers and light machine guns, passive night vision binoculars and passive night vision goggles to the Army but the forces remain woefully short and are looking for the latest 3rd generation technology to reduce weight and extend the life of NVDs.
The Indian Air Force has felt the need for helmet-mounted night vision goggle (NVG) for a long time. Unfortunately, these had serious drawbacks in the past. Originally designed for surface forces and subsequently modified for airlift and helicopters, they were very cumbersome and limited both the field of view and visual acuity and thus totally incompatible with fighter aircraft. Further, they were not stressed for high-G loading and were not safe to wear in an ejection.