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Indian Army plans to equip 1,600 T-72 tanks with advanced night- fighting capabilities.

New Delhi -- The Army, having long suffered from deficiencies in night fighting electro-optical equipment, is set to make up critical deficiencies.

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, editor 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 delegates. 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-chief 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. However, NVGs now in production resolve or minimize these problems and are specifically designed for fighter aircraft. Cockpit lighting has also improved.

It is expected that such NVGs would come along with Rafale as and when it enters service. With this new generation of NVGs, the fighter force would be able to provide a simple, cost-effective night vision capability that would allow the aircraft to support special operations including low intensity conflict (LIC) missions 24 hours a day.
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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Dec 27, 2012
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