(This News Is Originally Posted On Times Now By Srinjoy Chowdhury)
For the front-line Indian soldier, there is a high-quality assault rifle, the German-American SIG-Sauer 716 G2. Now, to help the Indian soldier fight at night will come a high-quality image intensifier for locating the enemy. And the image intensifier, as just cleared by the Defence Procurement Board or DPB which is headed by Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and including the vice chiefs of the Army, Navy and Indian Air Force, will be designed and made in India as part of the Atmanirbhar or self-reliance process.
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The DPB has cleared the purchase of 29, 760 image intensifiers to go with the Sig Sauers for the jawan on the line of control, fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir or even in Ladakh on the line of actual control. The image intensifier deal will be worth Rs 1410 crore.
To replace the INSAS rifle and the still effective AK-47 Kalashnikovs, India had initially purchased 72,400 SIG Sauer assault rifles for frontline troops. Thereafter, an additional 72,000 were bought. The image intensifiers are likely to be very useful for night fighting.
Also cleared by the DPB were 40 fire control radars for the Army’s air defence. The Rs 1600 crore deal involves the development, testing and production of these radars indigenously, again as part of the Atmanirbhar process. This is part of a slightly long-term process that aims to build defence production capability, including in the private sector.