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Indian Army fast-tracks air defence guns' purchase

Delhi,Business/Economy,Defence/Security, Fri, 13 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 13 (IANS) Exactly a month after army chief Gen. V.K. Singh highlighted gaps in the country's defence preparedness in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, India decided to fast track purchase of air defence guns for its forces and has called for information from global firms in this regard.


Gen. Singh had written to the prime minister on March 12 and on April 11, the army's air defence directorate issued a Request for Information (RFI) to air defence gun manufacturers seeking details of their products so that a tender document could be prepared.


Gen. Singh had said in his letter that 97 percent of the air defence guns in the Indian Army inventory were obsolete.


"The army air defence directorate has issued the RFI, as it plans to procure air defence guns having a caliber of more than 30mm," an officer in the army headquarters said here Friday.


"This RFI has been issued with a view to identify probable vendors who can undertake the said project. The original equipment manufacturers/vendors have been requested to forward information on their product which they can offer the Indian Army," the officer added.


The air defence guns that the army is looking for should be capable of engaging air targets during both day and night, with or without a fire control system, and should be transportable by broad gauge rail rakes.


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