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Updated January 12th, 2024 at 11:39 IST

Indian Army Seeks Thermal Night Vision Sight for Armoured Vehicles to Navigate Diverse Terrains

The MoD issued a RFI for 2500 TI-based DNS systems, aligning with Indian-IDDM, designed for diverse terrains, temperature extremes, and integration efficiency.

An Indian Army BMP-2 APC somehwere in the Himalayas.
An Indian Army BMP-2 APC somehwere in the Himalayas. | Image:X representative
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New Delhi: The Defence Ministry has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the procurement of approximately 2500 Thermal Imager (TI)-based Driver Night Sight (DNS) systems intended for use on BMP-2/2K, Armoured Ambulance Tracked (AAT), and Carrier Mortar Tracked (CMT) vehicles. The focus is on enhancing their night vision capabilities as part of the Army's border plans to modernise its existing 'Vintage' platforms to current standards.

Upgraded variants of the BMP with Thermal Imagers and NV kits. | Image: OFB

3 Key Things About MoD’s Procurement Plan

  • The Defence Ministry has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the procurement of approximately 2500 Thermal Imager (TI)-based Driver Night Sight (DNS) systems.
  • The TI-based DNS systems are expected to operate in diverse terrain conditions, including plain and desert landscapes, high-altitude mountainous terrains, and island territories.
  • MoD via the RFI aims identify potential Indian vendors capable of supplying the TI-based DNS within one year of the contract award, at an approximate rate of 500 units per year.

Alignment with Indian-IDDM 

According to the RFI, this move by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) aligns with the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP-2020), which underlines 'Make in India' and 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' programs through its Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed, and Manufactured) program for designing and developing Defence Platforms within India. The procurement of these TI-based DNS systems is in line with the government's strategic focus on indigenous manufacturing and self-reliance.

The Ministry aims to finalise the Specific Qualitative Requirements (SQRs), determine the procurement category, and identify potential Indian vendors capable of supplying the TI-based DNS within one year of the contract award, at an approximate rate of 500 units per year.

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An Indian BMP-2. | Image: X @adgpi

Meeting Stringent Standards: Terrain Diversity, Temperature Extremes, and Integration Efficiency

  1. Operational requirements and terrain conditions: The TI-based DNS systems are expected to operate in diverse terrain conditions, including plain and desert landscapes along the Western Borders, high-altitude mountainous terrains (up to 5000 metres altitude) along the Northern Borders, and island territories like Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep. These systems should be operational day and night, with the ability to withstand common weather conditions such as dust, rain, and snow.
  2. Temperature and environmental considerations: To ensure adaptability in extreme conditions, the TI-based DNS should be operational in a wide range of temperature conditions, from a minimum operating temperature of minus 30° Celsius to a maximum operating temperature of plus 55° Celsius. Additionally, the equipment should function effectively in relative humidity ranging from 0 to 100 percent.
  3. Key technical parameters: The design concept emphasises a form-fit sight that can be easily integrated into the hull of BMP-2/2K, AAT, and CMT vehicles without requiring modifications. The preferred technical parameters, detailed, ensure optimal performance and compatibility with the designated platforms.
An Indian BMP-2 APC with older thermal imaging kit. | Image: X

According to the RFI, vendors are encouraged to categorise the project according to the provisions of Chapter-II of DAP-2020, providing justifications for their preferred categorization. This RFI is crucial to augment the capabilities of India's armoured vehicles, addressing the critical need for advanced night vision technology.The army is also procuring light vehicles in a ‘4X4’ configuration with a weight ranging from 700 to 900 kgs. However, the quantity or the number of the procurement hasn't yet been clarified yet.

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Published January 12th, 2024 at 11:24 IST

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