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Indian Army begins process to procure fast patrol boats, landing craft and surveillance systems

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian Army has rolled out a process to procure six fast patrol boats, eight landing craft assault (LCA) and 118 integrated surveillance and targeting systems for deployment in border areas as part of efforts to enhance its combat capabilities, officials have said.

The fast patrol boats are being procured primarily for surveillance in large water bodies, including the Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh.

The Indian and Chinese troops are locked in an over three-year confrontation in certain friction points along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh even as the two sides completed disengagement from several areas following extensive diplomatic and military talks.

The Army has already issued the request for information (RFI) or initial tenders for procurement of the fast patrol boats, LCAs and integrated surveillance and targeting systems, the officials said on Tuesday..

The RFI for fast patrol boats said the vessels should be "rugged and versatile so as to facilitate seamless execution of small team insertion, surveillance, reconnaissance and patrolling" and that they should be capable of operating across a varying matrix of terrain and conditions.

It said the indigenously-developed boats should have a maximum speed of 29 knots (at sea state level 2) with eight people on board.

The initial tender for LCAs said they are planned to be deployed for search and rescue operations in Creek area and river basins.

It said the length of the LCAs should be between 13-14 metres and maximum speed not less than 20 knots. The LCAs are generally used for ferrying troops.

The last date to respond to the initial tenders for fast patrol boats as well as the LCAs is November 28.

The integrated surveillance and targeting systems are being procured for use by mechanised forces in border areas.

According to the RFI, the systems are being procured under the 'buy Indian' category and they must have 60 per cent indigenous content.

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