Editor’s Note

The changing nature of warfare, rising conflicts and the never-ending great-power competition has given rise to complex geometries in global geopolitical positioning. The world's future is filled with eternal uncertainty. The advances in technology such as quantum computing. artificial intelligence and digital surveillance have transformed the military worldwide. As a driving force, technology has embedded itself in the power showbiz and has initiated an unprecedented competition between global powers including the emerging middle power. Acquiring innovative power, capacity to invent and adapting fast to new technologies is now a key determinant for all involved in the ongoing power game in the emerging new world order.

Raksha Anirveda’s latest web feature attempts to evaluate and understand the impact of technology in reshaping India's power aspiration through its Indian Armed Forces’ modernisation programme. The featured articles have been diligently curated. These articles analyse Indian Armed Forces’ adoption of innovation and technology. procurement of critical technology to become Aatmanirbhar, adaptability to disruptive and emerging technologies, and its digitisation efforts to emerge as a strong future-ready force. Raksha Anirveda invites esteemed readers - the driving force behind its evolving benchmark to indulge, explore and evaluate the feature presentation. Happy Reading!

Girl in a jacket

Indian Armed Forces to Get Indigenous SPAD-GMS, CQBs under Atmanirbhar Bharat Initiative

Defence Industry

New Delhi: The long awaited announcement on the Self Propelled Air Defence Gun Missile System (SPAD-GMS) was to be made at the DefExpo in February this year but there was none as there has been strong opposition from the Russian side on the shortlisting of the South Korean company Hanwha Defence’s offer for the project.

Indian Army, despite making representations to the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) explaining the critical need for the Close-Quarter-Battle Carbines (CQBs), will now have to wait longer till they are made in India.

At the end of a high-level meeting in the Ministry of Defence (MoD), it was decided to withdraw the Request for Proposals (RfPs) of two critical programmes — US$3 billion SPAD-GMS deal and the long-delayed Fast Track Procurement (FTP) of Close-Quarter-Battle Carbines (CQBs), sources said.

“Two critical programmes which have been getting delayed for various reasons are expected to be closed and these will now be made locally in an effort to ensure that the Indian Armed Forces’ dependency on imports is cut down. At the end of the meeting, it has been decided that the focus will be on `Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and announcement to this effect will be made soon,” sources added.

“The Russian side at various levels has been voicing its concerns to the Indian side. And there was a situation of a single vendor. Therefore, in all probability, the RfP will be withdrawn soon and the Army will go for the indigenously made gun,” sources said.

There were five bidders, and after extensive scrutiny only South Korean company and Russian company made it to the trial stage. During trials, Russia failed which left the South Korean company in the fray, thus creating a single vendor situation.

In the US$3 billion deal, the Russian side has been making several representations to the MoD focusing on issues related to the non-compliance to the specifications laid down in the RfP. And they have also mentioned that the system offered by the South Korean company is one generation older and if and when it is inducted in service, the Army will have to go for an early upgradation.

The SPAD-GMS will be replacing 1,360 obsolete Bofors L 70 40mm single barrel and Soviet-era ZU-23-2 towed 23 mm twin-barrel weapon systems of the Indian Army. The Indian Army needs almost five regiments of the guns which can be deployed with the forces and can be relocated based on the threat perception.

However, the specifications laid down in the RfP have remained unfulfilled by companies from Russia and South Korea.

A global tender was floated in 2013, and an upgraded Tunguska system was fielded by Almaz Ante and Pantsir by KBP Tula systems from Russia. Both the guns failed the trials. And, South Korean — Hybrid Biho System, was left in the race as a single vendor.