The Cabinet Committee on Security has cleared a proposal worth over Rs 1,800 crore for procuring night-vision equipment in a bid to enhance performance of the Army's tank fleet at night.
The Army's proposal for procuring TIFCS (Thermal Imaging Fire Control System) for the T-90 and T-72 tanks was cleared by the CCS headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in its recent meeting, government sources told PTI.
Under the plan, the T-90 and the T-72 battle tanks will be equipped with the systems to be procured from Elbit Systems of Israel, they said.
Before the inking of the deal, certain questions raised by the CCS will have to be clarified by the force in connection with the proposal and the Army was in the process of doing so, the sources added.
The Army is undertaking an ambitious programme to upgrade its entire fleet of over 2,000 BMPs with advanced weaponry and night-fighting capabilities.
The mechanised forces, which include 63 armoured corps regiments and over 30 mechanised infantry battalions, constitute a critical component of Army's preparedness for high-intensity, fast-tempo and short-duration battles of the future.
Recently, the Defence Acquisition Council headed by Defence Minister A K Antony had cleared proposal to procure thermal imaging sights for the armoured vehicle fleet of the force comprising tanks and Infantry Combat Vehicles.
Of the TI sights to be acquired, 2,000 will be for the commanders of the T-72 tanks, which form the backbone of the force's mechanised forces, for around Rs 1,000 crore.
The Army has a fleet of around 2,400 T-72 tanks, which did not come equipped with the night fighting capabilities. The other major component is that of T-90S tanks, 1650 of which have been ordered and over 800 of them have arrived in India.