The Indian Armed Forces have felt the need to build night fighting capabilities urgently. The NVDs held by the armed forces are not hi-tech and the inventory is small.
Most of the armies of the world are now equipped with the third generation NVDs with the fourth generation equipment already in the test and trial phase.
The Indian Army has 2nd-gen devices and requires new 3rd-gen Thermal Imaging (TI) and night vision devices for soldiers and night sights for rifles. One reason for the long delay has been the failure of defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd to absorb the technology with the help of foreign suppliers.
The Indian Army alone has a requirement of over 30,000 third generation NVDs to meet its requirements as per the present war establishment (WE) authorisation.
The demand of Passive Night Vision goggles (PSVGs) is the highest followed by platform optronics, hand held thermals, Weapon Night Sights (WNS), Thermal Imaging Weapon Sights, Para Military Forces (PMF) Weapon Sights, PMF PNVGs and lastly followed by MSVs.
During the period 2015-2020, the three armed forces are likely to spend a whopping Rs 23000 crores ($3.6 bn) on electro-optics systems with the NVD segment constituting about Rs 12500 crores ($2 bn) of the total Electro-Optics market.
The demand of Passive Night Vision goggles (PSVGs) is the highest in the market followed by platform optronics, hand held thermals, weapon night sights (WNS), thermal imaging weapon sights, weapon sights, integrated observation equipment and standalone infrared, seismic and acoustic sensors.
The objectives of the seminar are as follows:
• To review the night fighting capabilities and the night vision devices available with the armed forces at present.
• To analyse short and long term requirements to "Own the Night" and build the capability to carry out effective night and all-weather operations.
• To assess the supporting C4I infrastructure, which can augment and support the night fighting capabilities.
• To examine ways and means of augmenting border infrastructure for improved surveillance at night against infiltration.
• To assess the best options for equipping the soldier to fight with efficiency at night (as part of F-INSAS programme).
• To assess currently available technologies and technologies on the horizon to improve night fighting capabilities for the three Services.