Since India conducted the Balakot airstrike on 26 February 2019, it has almost lost 82 security personnel in terror attacks and cross-border firing.
The Indian Army is taking all possible effort to minimise similar losses in the future and to ensure that the Army is seeking to buy 22,000 long-range night sights for infantry assault rifles.
The purchase has been authorised to minimise the casualties in cross-border fire or during counter-terror operations in Kashmir. The sights will be manufactured in India and used by troops deployed on the frontline.
The search was launched after the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, approved the design, development, and manufacturing of ‘Thermal Imaging Night Sights’ for assault rifles in November 2019.
According to the Indian Defence Ministry, “Thermal Imaging Night Sights would enable troops to undertake long-range accurate engagements in dark and all weather conditions thereby enhancing the night fighting capabilities”.
The army said the uncooled thermal imagine sight desired by the Indian Army should be lightweight and able to accurately engage targets in the hours of darkness. The Indian Army has already initiated the process to eliminate the night blindness of tanks and light machine guns, which have been used by infantry deployed along the Pakistan border.
Having a range of around 1,000-meters is crucial in the mountainous Himalayan border regions where the visual range remains important.