An Indian Army soldier takes position at the scene of a firing incident on the National Highway in Srinagar in September. India will work with Israel on production of new sensors and weapons for Indian soldiers. (Tauseef Mustafa / AFP via Getty Images)
NEW DELHI — Israel will collaborate in producing high-tech systems for Indian soldiers, tapping a potential US $3 billion market.
Israel will team with India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to produce a variety of systems related to command and control, battlefield management, sensors and weapons, according to a proposal that was finalized last month.
An Indian Army official said the Indian Futuristic Infantry Soldier As a System (F-INSAS) program “aims to utilize advanced technologies to enhance capabilities of an individual soldier.” F-INSAS “is based on lessons from conflicts worldwide and intends to make the Indian soldier a self-contained fighting machine,” the official said.
DRDO and Israel have agreed to jointly develop portable command-and-control (C2) systems for Indian soldiers. The system will have an encrypted computer and a monitor able to operate in harsh Indian weather. The system will be connected with the Indian Army’s battlefield management system, a network-centric warfare project under development, said another Indian Army source.
The economic model of the arrangement between DRDO and Israel is unclear, but an Indian Army source said the C2 system must be able to grow over the years to accommodate 1.1 million Indian troops.
In addition, DRDO is teaming up with Israel for joint development of an advanced mobile observation system for infantry soldiers that will operate through a radio frequency sensor, allowing a soldier to remain at a distance while observing and recording a target.
DRDO has also submitted a proposal to the Indian Defence Ministry to develop an advanced personal network radio able to integrate voice; command, control, communications and intelligence applications; and GPS signals. The system will be connected to long-range radio networks to provide unprecedented operational range. This system will be developed with Israeli help.
To meet Army requirements, DRDO is also developing a multi-caliber individual weapon system and an air bursting grenade for individual weapons.
Other equipment to be procured includes advanced anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) launchers, bulletproof vehicles, anti-materiel rifles, new generation carbines, battle surveillance radars, thermal imaging sights for ATGM launchers, ground sensors, secured communication systems, precision guided ammunition and laser rangefinders.