Tuesday, June 1, 2010

India Orders Armoured Troop Carriers, Night Vision Devices and other Equipment Worth Rs 296.95 Crore

As part of its plan to arm paramilitary troops, including those operating in Naxal-hit areas, with high-tech weapons, government has sanctioned procurements of armoured and bullet proof vehicles besides arms valuing nearly Rs 300 crore.

The Union Home Ministry in the last one month has sanctioned 119 TATA Light Armoured Troop Carriers (LATC) worth Rs 49.90 crore and 98 bullet proof Mahindra Rakshaks and three LATCs at a cost of Rs 37.97 crore, Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters today.

The ministry has also approved procurement of night vision devices for rifles at a cost of Rs 184.80 crore, besides 146 automatic grenade launchers and 47,030 grenades are also been bought from a Russian firm Rosoboron Export at a cost of Rs 22.95 crore.

Laser range finders is also being procured from Fotono, a Slovenian firm at a cost of Rs 1.33 crore. In all, procurements amounting to Rs 296.95 crore has been approved by the ministry, Chidambaram said.

Besides the above mentioned items, in the last two months alone, the Home Ministry has given sanction to a number of modernisation programmes of paramilitary forces, including procurement of 59,000 light-weight bullet-proof jackets.

Official sources said paramilitary forces like CRPF, BSF NSG, ITBP are being re-equipped at breakneck speed with new weapons, bullet-proof jackets, riot gear and armoured vehicles.

The NSG has recently placed an order of over 800 state-of-the-art SIG rifles, something which certain other forces are also looking at. Last month, the MHA sanctioned procurement of 378 automatic grenade launchers and related ammunition at a total cost of Rs 37.83 crore.

It also sanctioned procurement of 34,377 carbines for the BSF at a cost of Rs 137.51 crore. The CISF, which guards airports, nuclear plants and other sensitive installations, already uses Glock pistols and will also procure 1,000 more such weapons at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore, the source said.

Global equipment suppliers who have recently been camping in New Delhi and displaying their lethal wares, estimate that the India market for internal-security related equipment will be worth a whopping Rs 45,000 crore over the period of next two to three years.

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