The Indian Army is planning major upgrades to their personnel’s standard battle gear with new uniforms, multi-function weaponry, sensors to monitor their health parameters, and latest communication network for instant access to information on the battlefield.
Army Chief J.J. Singh says that he believes that future wars will be won by the side that has “high technology with all-weather fighting capability” and that is why there is an “action plan to modernize the armed forces in all dimensions.” With substantial investment, the F-INSAS (Future Infantry Soldier as a System) is expected to give the Army just that.
By the first phase of this project to be completed by 2012, infantry soldiers will be equipped with modular weapon systems which will have multiple functions. They will also carry infantry versions of thermal imagers, sensors, and night vision equipment currently used by artillery and tank units. The troops will wear newer uniform that will help them carry extra loads and survive chemical attacks. Sensors in pouches will help central command to monitor the health of soldiers and automatically dispatch medical help and supplies.
Singh was not coy about deriving knowledge from the US and strategic partners on developing armed forces for the future. As part of the Indo-US strategic ties, the Indian Army plans to take part in joint exercises with their US counterparts to the battalion level from the present platoon and company levels. Thus far, they had conducted 4 such exercises.