Finsas

F-INSAS is India's program to equip its Infantry with state-of-the-art equipment. F-INSAS means Futuristic Infantry Soldier As a System.[1]


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.[1] 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.[2] The weight carried by soldiers will need to be reduced by at least 50%.[3]

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.[4]

Timeline

In the first phase, to be completed by 2015,[1] the infantry soldiers will be equipped with modular weapon systems that will have multi-functions.[1]

The Indian Army intends to modernise its entire 465 infantry and paramilitary battalions by 2020 with this program.

F-INSAS equipment

The intention is to equip the soldier (see picture[5] ) to ensure a dramatic increase in their lethality, survivability and mobility while making the soldier "a self-contained fighting machine".[6]

Core systems

Helmet and visor

The bullet proof helmet, capable of stopping a 9mm round at close range, contains a mounted flash light, thermal sensors, night vision capabilities, a digital compass, video cameras, a computer, nuclear, biological and chemical sensors, and an audio headset. The visor is intended to be integrated and to act as a heads-up display monitor equivalent to two 17-inch computer monitors.

Clothing

The personal clothing of this soldier of the future would be lightweight with a bullet-proof jacket. The futuristic jacket would be non flammable, waterproofed yet breathable. The new attire will enable the troops to carry extra load and resist impact of nuclear, radiological, 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 & Ballistic and laser eye protection goggles, bullet-proof armored waistcoat designed to stop a round of flexible ballistic, hard ballistic, ceramic armor plates covering the front, back and groin and an armored, Electronic jacket with Load-bearing structure. The electronic jacket integrates the electronics (computer unit, energy manager unit, peripheral equipment interfaces, user interfaces, radio, man-machine interface, GPS, cables, connector, camouflaging system, wearable environmental control & micro climate cooling system), flexible water bottle, magazines, grenades and other equipment holder & pockets and optimizes weight distribution on the soldier. The new uniform will have vests with sensors to monitor the soldier's health parameters and provide quick medical relief. Flame-resistant moisture wicking undergarments, and flame-resistant hand, face, and foot protection & a pair of non skid shoes with mine detection sensors.[1] [1]

Weapons

The weapons sub-system is built around a multi calibre individual weapon system with the fourth calibre 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 grenades. 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).[7]

Accessories

The soldier will be equipped with a USB 2.0. digital data bus, Palmtop GPS navigation device, secured advance audio communication set, advance electronic warfare data manager, secured network connection each radio can subscribe to two networks simultaneously. This offers the squad leader some flexibility in organizing communication networks in his section. Each network has an audio conference channel, with priority given to the squad leader, an alert channel from the infantryman to his leader, and a data transmission channel. Voice and data transmission is based on tried and tested civilian technology (domestic cordless telephone technology). Each sub-network works from a base carried by the squad leader. As RIF sets are all identical, a soldier can replace his commander if necessary by configuring his set as base. The radio is configured by the computer, thereby limiting the number of control buttons needed on the set. 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 friendly forces are in relation to them. It will also enable them to transfer messages. Terrain equipment gears for various specific mission will also be carried.[8] [8]

Thermal imaging, sensors and night vision equipment, currently deployed in weapon systems such as artillery and main battle tanks, will be customised to make them portable for soldiers to carry in the battle ground. Defense advanced GPS receivers, infrared sensors, thermal sensors,optical sensors, electromagnetic sensors and radio frequency sensors and many other sensors, radars & Jammers would also be carried out.[1]

Procurements for program

Procurement requests for the 'open calibre' carbines is valued at around INR44 billion () have been initiated with global manufacturers.[9] The procurement covers night-vision devices, laser designators and detachable under-barrel grenade launchers.[9]

Indigenisation of program

With the intent to retain its strategic autonomy, self-reliance and indigenisation of the program is being emphasised.[2] Most of the equipment is being Indigenous developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) independently, as the prime developer and the system integrator, as well as with private partnership.[5] Tata Advanced Systems, Rolta and Thales Ltd are among the private partners to be associated. Out of five major technologies for the futuristic soldiers, the following two have been developed by the DRDO.[10]

  1. Design and development of a multi-calibre individual weapon system.
  2. Design and development of air bursting grenade for individual weapon.

See also

Notes

External links

  • http://www.rolta.com/rolta-thales/portfolio/digital-soldier-systems.html
  • Jane's defense weekly confirms F-INSAS
  • Video of F-INSAS soldier and explanation of various systems.
  • President Kalam's visions for a hi-tech soldier
  • Future infantry: unravelling the Indian Army's F-INSAS programme on army-technology.com
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