SOURCE: Satyajeet Kumar/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
While India remains Top importer of weapons in the world and No Arms and Defence equipment manufacturer, Small or big can afford to stay away from any Tender or Request for Information issued by Indian Military for their requirement which always provides opportunity for established players to continue their domination in Indian defence sector and new players opportunity to enter in lucrative Indian Defence market .
But emerging trend for last few years has been that Defence equipment manufacturers are becoming not so hastened to respond to tenders issued by Indian Army in particular due to technical parameters requested by Indian Army not only falls short on their developed equipment but technically is also not possible, resulting in trials where equipment in question is falling short by a mile to meet technical parameters issued by Indian Army .
Some of the technical parameters which even established global vendors are failing to meet are for Assault Rifle tenders, VSHORAD tender and Anti-tank guided missile tender for ALH Rudra WSI Helicopters and in past Artillery Guns. Army tender mentioned have been scrapped or gone for repeated re-tendering process in numerous times just because vendors participating in the tender process are simply failing to meet tender technical requirements set by Indian Army.
Not so vocally participants have been raising voices on scraping and re-tendering process adopted by the Indian Army since many participating companies were losing huge money for participating in Army User trials since cost of trial rounds needs to be borne by the participating companies and several times competing vendors failed to meet technical parameters set by the Indian Army which many felt were too stringent and quite unrealistic to be achieved .
DRDO and other Indian defence PSU’s for long have cried that Performance demanded by Indian Armed forces and unrealistic nor technical achievable which leads to countless delays and prime example could be India’s development of Arjun Main Battle Tank which has been in making for last 30 years but is still not able to meet Indian Army’s technical requirements even when it has passed head on trials with Russian T-90s Main Battle Tanks which are counted among the best.
Previous Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar while speaking in a public forum has questioned General Staff Qualitative Requirement (GSQR) laid down by Indian Army for various tenders and called technical parameters set by Indian Army right out of ” Marvel Movies ” highly jingoistic and unrealistic to actually meet the said technical parameters set.
Many Defence Experts while speaking on this issue have blamed Army for letting Technically unsound professionals for setting down GSQR Technical requirements in the tender which leads to repeated scraping and re-tendering wasting valuable time, money and resources in trying to find something which doesn’t exist or is not required. While It is easier to pass on Indigenous weapons has not met technical requirements but it there comes questionable instances like, when Top Assault Rifles in the world used by many modern Army’s around the world fails to meet technical requirements set by Indian Army.
Unrealistic GSQR tenders are creating a time-consuming business of trials and errors which are delaying procurement of equipment which is required by the forces by years on even by a decade. India will require reforms in within military units which can draw up required technical requirements as per existing available technology which can meet its operational requirements.