Hinting at a major offensive against terrorists in Kashmir, the Indian Army has planned a major procurement to purchase 13,000 night sight thermal imaging devices for AK-47 rifles and 14,000 autogated night sight image intensifiers via global tender.
In the last few weeks, the Indian Army has intensified its search and shoot operation in four districts of South Kashmir. On Thursday, Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat met all seven commanders in Srinagar — an indication that an all-out offensive against terrorists may be launched in the coming months. The Army has released a 'hit-list' of top terrorists of the Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba groups."Based on uncooled microbolometer technology having a pitch equivalent to 17 microns, the required night sight thermal imaging will have a human detection range of minimum of 800 meters while it will easily recognize a single standing human target at distance of minimum 400 meters under clear weather conditions and all terrain," a request for information issued by the Indian Army said.
Similarly, autogated night sight image intensifier tubes for AK-47s will improve aiming capabilities for 7.62 x 39 mm calibers from 100 meters to 500 meters. The image intensifier tubes should detect human targets at a distance of a minimum of 800 meters under starlit night conditions without moonlight. If forces undertake night operations, the eight-hour battery life of image intensifier will provide uninterrupted visibility to them.
Army chief Rawat said the Army is fighting a "dirty war" in Kashmir and that innovative ways to combat insurgents are needed.
The AK-47 rifles in service with the Indian Army do not have a Picatinny rail, which provides a standard mounting platforms, so vendors will have to modify the rifles to fit sights compatible with the rail.