The third edition of Night Vision India 2015 will be held at the DRDO HQ, New Delhi, India on 22-23 January 2015.
The Army's current night fighting capability is limited. What the Army needs is 'third generation' night vision devices (NVDs) for soldiers, night sights for rifles and night vision equipment for armoured and mechanised formations. What the Army has are limited second generation devices which at times are more of a hindrance than an asset and too few third generation NVDs. Pakistan, on the other hand, has got a range of third generation devices from the US under the 'War on Terror' pact. China too has operationalised its entire tank and mechanised fleet for night fighting and possesses significantly higher night capability in the other arms too. Limited night fighting capability decreases force effectiveness and leads to reduced deterrence, thus providing a window of opportunity to hostile powers to increased chances of misadventure from either country.
The Indian Army needs 30,000 third generation NVDs to meet its requirements as per the present war establishment (WE) authorisation. The large numbers required add substantially to cost but this could be reduced with indigenous manufacture. There is a need to further enhance these holdings as presently only one device is authorised per section. The need is to equip each man with a NVD but as a first step at least 50 per of the soldiers need to be so equipped.
The night fighting capability of the Army particularly the infantry and Special Forces need to be upgraded on a war footing. The latest NVD technology on the horizon which can be looked at is the black and white picture for night scenes as compared to the classic green hued image, as studies have shown that night time scenes appear remarkably more natural and clear in black and white combination. The night fighting capability is crucial to the success of critical defence programmes such as F-INSAS, MBTs, Special Forces upgrade and indigenous FICVs. The ability to fight at night has been constrained since ancient times but in the 21st century it will be a do or die choice.
The Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS) has approved a home ministry plan to install night-vision surveillance along India’s international borders. Initially, a group of ministers constituted in 2001 had emphasised the importance installation of night surveillance security devices along international border. The list of security equipment includes battle field surveillance radars (BFSR), thermal sensors, high powered sensors, night vision devices, and night binoculars. BFSRs have night vision range of 40 km. Thermal sensors can detect targets in a hilly terrain. Installation of night surveillance devices will facilitate in countering hostile infiltration, smuggling, and trans-border crime. An amount of Rs 4860 million will be spent over the next six years for installing state-of-art night vision equipment on international borders along Pakistan, China, Bangladesh and Myanmar. In the first phase night vision devices covering 12,500 km along these borders will be installed. 2500 km border along Nepal and Bhutan will be covered in next phase.