Defence News India: In its bid to boost Indian Army’s night war fighting capabilities, the ministry of defence has decided to procure 800 night sights with thermal imaging capability for automatic grenade launchers. According to the expression of interest document issued on July 7, companies will have one month’s time to submit their response.
The night sights will be used by Indian Army’s infantry units who have AGS-30 30-mm automatic grenade launchers but lack thermal sights for night operations.
At present Indian Army units only use day sight known as PAG-17.
“Due to the restricted inventory, a number of limitations exist in the employability of AGS-30,” ministry of defence said.
Defence ministry said the operator has to be well-versed with the computation chart related to the range and corresponding elevation for effective utilisation of PAG-17.
According to the EoI document, the PAG-17 cannot be utilised to engage targets under obscure and poor visibility conditions and it requires separate instrument for the range estimation.
Defence ministry said any effective engagement of the target at night can only be undertaken when related data has been recorded under daylight condition. It severely restricts the effective use of the versatile grenade launcher system used by infantry units.
Indian Army has invited expression of interest from defence manufacturers and it will issue project sanction order to develop a prototype of the system on No Cost-No Commitment basis.
“All trials of the project will be on NCNC basis,” Indian Army said.
The expression of interest comes as a big opportunity for private defence companies who are active in the field of developing imaging sights for armed forces.
While Kanpur based MKU Limited has a tie-up with leading European defence technology company Thales for development and manufacture of night vision and thermal imaging devices, several other Indian companies and their joint ventures also have requisite expertise to develop a prototype that can meet the requirement of Indian Army.
AGS-30 30-mm automatic grenade launcher system
The 30mm AGS-30 second-generation automatic grenade launcher system (6S9) produced by Russia is a manoeuvrable high firepower weapon system having a long range of fire.
The grenade launcher may be mounted on a tripod or a turret, or used as part of a remotely controlled weapon system, mounted on various combat vehicles.
The light weight of the grenade launcher ensures an outstanding mobility and allows it to be used by dismounted units in rugged and urban terrain.
This is the first weapon of its class that can be carried by one man along with its tripod in either travelling or combat position.
The AGS-30 fires different types of 30mm rounds. The accuracy of fire is ensures by the recoilless operation of the grenade launcher, the best suited rate of fire, and the unique design of the tripod, allowing the weapon to be fired from soft and unprepared surfaces.
Tripod- and turret mounted versions are fitted with panoramic optical sights. Iron sights can also be used as an auxiliary means.
AGS-30 can be equipped with a day and night sight, and a radar sight may be used to conduct surveillance and accurate fire in zero visibility.