Post Mumbai attack, army seeks more equipment to strengthen forces

January 14th, 2009 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) In the wake of the 60-hour hostage drama that unfolded in Mumbai last year, highlighting the lacunae in the Indian Special Forces, the army has asked for more counter terrorism equipment and decided to fast track the procurement process. Interacting with the media ahead of the 61st Army Day, Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor said the army has sought “better guns and goggles to remove night blindness” in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attack in which more than 170 people were killed.

“Post-Mumbai, a degree of equipment for the special forces has been added to the list. The list includes more counter-terrorism equipment to improve the capabilities of the forces,” he said.

The lack of adequate equipment, like helmets with inbuilt communication systems and night vision goggles, for the National Security Guards during the 60-hour operation in Mumbai had invited criticism from all quarters.

“We have not brought any guns since 1986. We require better communication facility, better precision targeting capabilities.

“We have issued RFPs (request for proposal) for all guns. This process is ongoing. For air defence we have issued RFPs for QRSMs (quick reactions surface missiles),” Kapoor said.

The defence ministry had issued the request for proposals (RFPs) for three variants of the howitzer guns - light, wheeled and self-propelled - a year ago.

In a push to the Indian Army’s decade-old modernisation plan of its artillery, overseas vendors have submitted bids for 180 155mm/52 calibre towed and light howitzers. The trials are expected to commence in February or March.

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