Indian Army wants to urgently buy 7000 body-worn cameras, 1612 ballistic shields
The fast-track procurement will be made using the emergency financial powers granted by the Narendra Modi government to the armed forces on three occasions, the 2016 Uri surgical strikes, the Balakot air strike of 2019 and the border standoff with China in eastern Ladakh in 2020.
Aiming to further boost its operational capabilities, the Indian Army has issued two requests for proposals for the procurement of 7,000 body-worn camera systems and 1,612 ballistic shields with harnesses under emergency procurement through fast track procedure.
According to the RFP, the ballistic shields should have an indigenous content of 50 per cent, and the maker has to provide a 60 months warranty for the ballistic shields and 24 months for the harness.
Besides, the shield should have a service life of five years. It must be of ambidextrous design with a height not less than 860 mm and a width not less than 520 mm.
The weight should not be over 20 kg. The margin can go up by 5 per cent after including the ballistic viewport and accessories attached to the shield.
"It should be provided with a support harness to enable hands-free carriage of the ballistic shield while ensuring unhindered usage of personal weapon and balanced weight distribution once fully worn," the RFP added.
The body-worn camera is a small audio and video recording device which is attached to the soldiers' uniform. The device is used for the recording of real-time video and images during counter-insurgency or counter-terrorism operations.
The camera must be compact while light in weight, about 200 grams. It should have a battery life of up to 12 hours of video capturing. The recording should have two independent video streams for local recording and remote view, the RFP added.
'It should burn in date, time, device ID, officer ID and location,' the RFP stated, adding that the equipment must be able to operate at minus 20 degrees Celsius to 45 degrees Celsius temperature and support encryption.
As per the RFP, the encrypted video should be only played in a special player. Data on the camera should not be editable.
The government had granted emergency financial powers to the armed forces on three occasions, the 2016 Uri surgical strikes, the Balakot air strike of 2019 and the border standoff with China in eastern Ladakh in 2020. Under the fast-track procedure route, the armed forces can urgently procure weapons systems up to Rs 300 crore. It does not require any further approvals to reduce the decision-making process.
Recently, the Indian Army has issued a number of RFPs, including 163 high-altitude logistic drones, 1,000 surveillance copters and 80 mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, among others.