The Ministry of Defence has decided to purchase 180 canister-launched anti-armour loiter munition (CALM) systems and nine improved version of integrated drone detection and interdiction system for Army troops deployed in  antagonistic western and northern borders.

The Army has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for acquisition of loitering munition, around eight months after it had issued a tender for buying similar 150 CALM systems, which is are pre-loaded canisters that stay in air for at least 15 minutes at maximum operational range. The Army in the RFP has also raised demand that the loiter munition should be capable to take off in freezing cold as well as 40 degree and operate in 15 km range.

The munition should be equipped with high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead, besides that the bidder will also have to offer 14 training loitering munition with inert warheads, said the RFP. The Army wants to purchase CALM system through Buy Indian category with 60 percent indigenous content and the last date for submission of the bid is December 2, said the Army. One of the condition is that the interested parties will have to deposit ₹70 lakh as the earnest money.

Similarly, Defence Ministry has also floated RFP to procure 9 improved version of integrated drone detection and interdiction system under Buy Indian category, with minimum domestic content required in case of indigenous design is 50 percent, otherwise 60 per cent, said the RFP.

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Giving rationale behind the acquisition, the Army said the proliferation of low radar cross-section drone/remotely piloted aircraft (RPA)/unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has enhanced the air threat multi-fold. “They may be employed individually or as a SWARM as cheaper and flexible options to target own assets. These threats can be countered by utilising multi-sensor and multi kill options integrated into cohesive system with suitable mobility,” the RFP stressed.

The proposed system, said the Army, should be able to be deployed independently or in conjunction with in-service air defence weapon system in all types of terrains, plains, desert and high altitude. The Army wants the flexibility to have the ‘soft kill system’ to jam the hostile drones, and ‘hard kill system’ that seeks to engage and destroy hostile drone, UAVs and RPAs with high power lasers.

The Army is in the process of implementing its own Online Inventory Management System (OIMS) from workshop upto Central Ordinance Depot (COD) level to modernise its warehouses. “The vendor will be required to provide data of main equipment, its accessories and spares in the format required for its uploading on OIMS of the Army for inventory management by ordnance depots and by EME workshops,” it stated.

Bidders will have to indicate the methodology on how they intend to undertake Active Obsolescence Management through life cycle of equipment which would include upgradation of system/ subsystem/ units on completion of its fair service life, stated the RFP.

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