F-INSAS: creating 21st century warriors
The F- INSAS program
F-INSAS has been taken up to equip Indian infantry with advanced weaponry, communication network and instant access to information on the battlefield.
This program is similar to the future soldier programs of other nations. F-INSAS includes a fully networked all-terrain, all-weather personal-equipment platform, enhanced firepower and mobility for the digitalised battlefield of the future. The weight carried by soldiers will need to be reduced by at least 50%.
The fully integrated Infantry of tomorrow will be equipped with mission-oriented equipment integrated with his buddy soldier team, the sub-unit, as also the overall C4I2 (Command, Control, Communications Computers, Information and Intelligence) system.
The intention is to equip the soldier to ensure a dramatic increase in their lethality, survivability and mobility while making the soldier “a self-contained fighting machine”.
Helmet and Visor
The helmet is an integrated assembly equipped with helmet mounted flash light, thermal sensors & night vision device, video cameras, computer and nuclear, chemical and biological sensors, with audio headsets. The visor is intended to be integrated and to act as a heads-up display monitor equivalent to two 17-inch computer monitors.
The personal clothing of this soldier of the future would be lightweight with a bullet-proof jacket. The futuristic jacket would be waterproofed yet breathable. The new attire will enable the troops to carry extra load and resist impact of nuclear, chemical and biological warfare. Uniform will also carry solar chargers for charging palmtop and other attached electronic equipment. It will contain external oxygen supply and respirator providing protection against gas and smoke and will include flame retardant carbonized viscose undergarments, fire proof knee and elbow pads, bullet-proof armoured waistcoat designed to stop a round, ceramic armour plates covering the front, back and groin and an armoured helmet capable of stopping a 9mm round at close range. The new uniform will have vests with sensors to monitor the soldier’s health parameters and provide quick medical relief.
The weapons sub-system is built around a multi caliber individual weapon system with the fourth caliber attached to a grenade launcher. These include a 5.56 mm, a 7.62 mm and a new 6.8 mm under development for the first time in India. The UBGL (Under Barrel Grenade Launcher) will be capable of launching air bursting grenade. The sub-system includes a thermal weapon sight and laser range finder to provide the soldier with range and direction information. The Global Positioning System (GPS) location information will allow the soldier to call for indirect fire accurately. There are two types of next generation infantry rifle under development in cooperation with Israel. In this context, news sources report that the Indian MoD has recently issued a global tender for the acquisition of new assault rifles and CQB carbines (Close Quarters Battle).
The soldier will be equipped with a Palmtop GPS navigation device to be able to communicate with other soldiers and locate or generate maps to find location, and will be aware of the battlefield. The palmtop will inform soldiers where other friendlies are in relation to them. It will also enable them to transfer messages. Terrain equipment gears for various specific mission will also be carried
Thermal imaging, sensors and night vision equipment, currently deployed in weapon systems such as artillery and main battle tanks, will be customized to make them portable for soldiers to carry in the battle ground. Defence advanced GPS receivers, infrared sensors, thermal sensors, electromagnetic sensors and radio frequency sensors would also be carried.