The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) will issue a new tender to domestic companies for the acquisition of sound ranging systems (SRS) to locate explosions and enemy fire in August.
Unnamed MoD sources were quoted by Defense News as saying that the tender to state-owned Bharat Electronics (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL) follows a failure to procure them from foreign manufacturers.
The companies will in turn collaborate with overseas firms for supplying 34 SRS systems at a cost of more than $120m to the Indian Army, the sources added.
The tender will seek a compact, man-portable and rapidly deployable SRS system, which should also be capable of operating under rugged conditions, and support integration with digital map data in the battlefield.
An undisclosed army official was quoted by the new agency as saying that the system is required to locate mortars at a distance of 10km, 105mm artillery at 15km, as well as 130mm artillery from 20km away.
The official added that the system should be capable of locating 60% of enemy artillery under normal weather conditions.
The initial SRS tender was cancelled by the MoD citing the bidders' inability to address requirements in 2008.
SRS systems are designed to locate the enemy artillery positions from the sound of guns firing in plains and desert terrain.
The sound signals are used by the command post for computation of the enemy battery location, which are then relayed to surveillance and target acquisition units to direct return fire.
The new systems are primarily intended to complement the army's existing Raytheon-built AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder weapon locating system in enemy artillery location missions.
Image: An AN/TPQ-37 Fire Finding Radar stationed near Glamoc in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Photo: courtesy of US Army, SPC Glenn W Suggs.