Horror for the Indian Army with a dark dollop of deja vu. Its eight-year effort to buy and build 1,580 (400 + 1,180) new towed 155mm/52cal howitzers has been scrapped, with fresh indications now that it will be re-tendered a record third time. The Indian Army issued a fresh RFI today inviting information from global vendors on modern 155mm/52cal towed gun systems. Yesterday, the Army had goofed up with an RFI that asked for guns it described as "towed (self-propelled)" -- an embarrassing boo-boo it corrected today by expunging the "self-propelled" part and re-releasing the RFI for just "towed" guns. The re-tender is understood to have been made necessary after the BAE-Bofors FH77-B05-L52 gun wound up (for the record third time!) the only gun in the fray, after its competitor in the latest round of trials, ST Kinetics, entered India's blacklist. More details shortly on the guns that are likely to be part of the fresh competition. All I can do is feel sorry for the Army. More details on the mess shortly. And do read Saurabh Joshi's excellently detailed post on the fiasco here on Stratpost.
Labels: Armour And Artillery, Army, Controversy, DEFENCE PROCUREMENTS, EQUIPMENT TRIALS, Government-Policy-Politics, Weapons