February 24, 2016

Defence ministry to review carbine procurement, missile system project with France

A high powered meeting to be steered by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is set to take a fresh look at the stuck close quarter carbine procurement plans of the Indian Army and take stock of the long pending short range surface to air missile system (SRSAM) that is to be jointly developed with France.
The MoD is likely to give a go ahead for a Rs 2300 cr order for constructing a new line of large survey vessels. A detailed update on the Maitri SRSAM project is likely to be discussed at the meeting as well.
Parrikar, who is currently reviewing the defence procurement process, is to be given a detailed briefing on the Close Quarter Carbine project and is also likely to discuss further reforms on the purchase process.
Several projects are expected to come up at the Defence Acquisition Committee (DAC) meeting on February 23, including a proposal for the construction of four large survey vessels. Sources have told ET that the defence ministry could give a go ahead for the project.
Also to be discussed is the much delayed procurement of new short range carbines for the army. The army has long retired its carbine and has been hunting for replacements for several years without success.
A tender was issued in 2010 to import 44, 600 carbines and trails were competed in 2013 with Beretta, IWI and Colt. However, the project has been stuck since then as only one of the three competitors – Israeli IWI – qualified as the `night sights’ of the other two failed.
A final decision on going ahead with the project is expected shortly with the Army exploring an option to separate `night sights’ with the main contract that will enable at least two of the three competitors to qualify. The sights could then be made separately by BEL. The other option would be to cancel the tender and start the acquisition process afresh.


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