December 31, 2009
Times of India
NEW DELHI: Having learnt lessons from the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, the Army has launched a global hunt for suitable weapon systems `for shooting around the corner’ for its troops involved in counter-terrorism operations.
These `cornershot’ rifles and pistols, with detachable high-resolution video cameras and monitors mounted on them, will help Army special forces like the Para-SF units to effectively tackle terrorists in urban warfare scenarios.
“Such close-quarter combat weapons will help our commandos to observe and engage targets from behind a corner — for instance, while storming a building or a room — without exposing themselves to direct fire from terrorists,” said an officer.
“American, Israeli, Pakistani and a few other forces already use such weapons… The front parts of their barrels, mounted with video cameras, can swivel 60 to 70 degree on either side to scan and direct fire around corners,” he added.
Floating the Request for Information (RFI), the Army’s weapons and equipment directorate wants armament companies to submit their proposals by January 30. This comes soon after elite counter-terror force National Security Guards launched the process to acquire cornershot weapons as well as wall surveillance radars to monitor what is the situation inside a room without actually entering it.
“Such new-generation equipment is very effective in neutralising terrorists in situations like 26/11, where commandos had to clear the five-star hotels in room-to-room flushing out operations,” said the officer.
The Army’s RFI specifies the cornershot weapons must be able to `engage targets effectively beyond 200 metres’ and have day/night vision capability.
While the exact number of the weapons to be acquired is yet to be finalised, officers said transfer of technology to manufacture them indigenously was being sought since “a large quantity” was required.
“The weapon systems should also have image downloading and transmission capability so that the enemy can be located and information shared with other troops to enable the commandos to take the best positions to engage the targets,” said an officer.