NEW DELHI — The Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has issued tenders to domestic defense companies to supply surface surveillance radars (SSR) valued at more than US $300 million.
The domestic companies in turn have teamed up with foreign firms to acquire necessary technology for the competition.
When asked why the tender was issued only to domestic companies, knowing that most of them will need technological help from overseas defense companies, an MoD official said, “India wants to encourage the domestic defense industry.”
The tenders have been sent to Nova Integrated System, which has teamed up with Terma of Denmark; Mahindra Defence Systems, partnered with Elta of Israel; Tata Power SED is teamed with Indra of Spain; Broadcast Engineering Consultants India has teamed with Rosoboronexport of Russia; Data Patterns has partnered with Reutech of South Africa; Larsen & Toubro has teamed with EADS; and state-owned Bharat Electronics has tied up with state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
None of the domestic company executives would comment on the terms of partnership with the overseas firms, saying it was a “commercial secret.”
“MoD decided to encourage only domestic defense companies because the overseas defense companies indulge in making too many charges and complaints against their competitors, thus delaying the whole process of acquisition,” a senior retired MoD official said.
The Indian Navy proposes to procure 31 SSRs and one SSR training simulator to meet Navy operational requirements. The selected vendor will have to deliver at least two SSR systems within 12 months of signing the contract, and the entire contract will have to be executed within several months beyond the first year, a Navy official said.
The SSRs will be installed along with accessories on the designated ships located at various shipyards.
The Navy requires the SSRs, which will operate on the “X” band frequency, to integrate with the ship’s overall weapon and sensor suite, the Navy official said.
The SSR will be used for all-round sector search, detection, automatic tracking, determination of coordinates and motion parameters of surface targets. In addition, the SSR will have to provide target designation data to surface-to-surface missiles and other fire control systems of the ships.
The SSR must be able to track not less than 50 targets at a time and to track small targets up to a distance of 12 kilometers. The radars should be able to automatically detect and track small surface targets, such as mines, swimmers and periscopes in all weather conditions.
The Indian Navy is buying 3-D radars to be mounted on 3,000-ton warships to provide 360-degree surveillance to detect aircraft, helicopters and anti-ship missiles.
MoD sources said the 3-D radars will be acquired from DRDO, which has already developed radar for use with the homegrown Akash surface-to-air missiles, which have a capability to track 150 targets.