BAE Systems and Kalyani group are exploring the possibility of supplying the compact and low-weight Bofors 40 MK4 guns to the Indian Air Force for providing security at its bases across the country.
At present IAF relies upon Army's weapon systems for security and protection at its bases but Bofors 40MK4 which is essentially a Naval gun system can be fixed on the ground for the requirements of the air force, defence industry sources said.
Bofors 40 Mk4 Naval Gun is a flexible, multi-purpose system offering a high rate of fire and the ability to switch between optimised ammunition types, including the programmable 40-mm 3P all-target ammunition. The system’s effectiveness against air, sea, and ground targets provides high survivability and tactical proficiency at all levels of conflict. The gun can fire up to 300 rounds per minute and has search radar to track and identify the target at an aerial distance of 12 kms.
Though Bofors 40MK4 is displayed at Kalyani group's stall in the ongoing Defexpo 2018, initial talks between BAE Systems and the Kalyani group are still to fructify. Exploratory discussions have gone on between BAE Systems and the Kalyani group over the past year for partnering with the aim of assembling, manufacturing and supplying the gun system to armed forces and may take firm shape by 2020. BAE System has supplied the gun system to Finland and Brazil.
Efforts to tighten security at all military bases and make it foolproof were particularly intensified after the attack on the Air Force base in Pathankot on January 2, 2016, the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had informed Parliament that some Pakistani non-state actors were responsible for the Pathankot attack adding they could not have carried it out without the support of the Pakistani establishment.
In the past two years, terrorists have been able to mount attacks on the camps of para-military forces and the Army in Jammu and Kashmir, often leading to long-drawn encounters and loss of innocent lives as well as causing casualties to the armed forces.
“Intelligence was received indicating the Pathankot Army installation as a suspected attack point. We have now done security audit also in addition to the normal security, and are in the process of ensuring that all army installations will be properly secured,' Mr Parrikar had told the Rajya Sabha.