India Army scouts for local firm to develop, make 1,840 GPS-GIS minefield recording system

Photo: An Indian Army soldier mapping a minefield. For Representational Purposes Only.

New Delhi: India is searching for an Indian vendor to design, develop and manufacture Minefield Recording Systems (MRS) based on Global Positioning System (GIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) to prevent casualties among personnel during de-mining operations in the borders with adversarial neighbours.

The current requirement projected is for 1,840 of these MRS. The MRS based on GPS and GIS may be required more for the Line of Control on the Pakistan border on India’s West than in the northern borders with China, though the situation could change rapidly on the Line of Actual Control too considering the uncertainly in the over two-and-half month conflict in Ladakh.

The Indian Army‘s Corps of Engineers, which lay mines for operational requirement on the borders, would be using these MRS based on GPS and GIS to locate the laid mines while carrying out de-mining. The laid mines remain in place for long duration and these are regularly recovered during de-mining.

During such recovery, casualties may take place due to inaccurate recording of location of the mines. The MRS based on GPS and GIS is envisaged to be such a system to instill confidence in the minefield record.

The Indian Army had lost a soldier to a mine explosion earlier this week after he inadvertently stepped on a mine along the Line of Control with Pakistan in the Kargil sector.

“The present methodology being followed to record location of mines is with the help of navigation equipment available in the units and manually preparing a sketch of minefield for future references,” the Indian Army said in its Expression of Interest (EOI) document dated July 10.

“Therefore, it is essential to have a minefield recording system which should be capable of recording minefield with adequate accuracy and also should be able to indicate correct location of mines, even if they have drifted from their original locations,” the document said.

“The MRS based on GPS and GIS is envisaged to provide user-friendly and simple hand-held device to record details of the mines laid by the soldier on the minefield. The equipment should enable safe laying as well as retrieval of mines, duly catering for shifting of mines after they have been laid.”

The EOI is to seek willingness of Indian vendors to participate in the ‘Make-II‘ project, in accordance with provision of Chapter IIIA of the Defence Procurement Procedure of 2016 (DPP-2016) incorporating all amendments up to Nov. 1, 2019.

The Indian vendors meeting the technical, commercial and project requirements will be issued the ‘Project Sanction Order‘ as the next step to develop a prototype. ‘Make II’ procedure is an industry-funded project under Para 6 of Chapter IIIA of DPP-2016.

The Development Agencies so selected for the project would have to submit one prototype and the procurement of the 1,840 MRS based on GPS and GIS would be done under the ‘Buy (Indian-IDDM)‘ category in accordance with Para 5 of Chapter IIIA of DPP-2016.

The Development Agencies will get 52 weeks from the date of issue of Project Sanction Order to develop the prototype. The production of 1,840 MRS based on GPS and GIS should be done within 24 months from the date of issue of procurement order.

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