Two consortia, one comprising state-run Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and private sector Rolta India Limited and another comprising engineering major Larsen & Toubro and Tata Power have been selected as development agencies for the defence ministry's Battlefield Management System (BMS) project.
The BMS project, involving investments of up to Rs50,000 crore, is a digital wireless network that will interlink soldiers and battlefield sensors through voice and data channels, providing a common battle picture to each soldier.
Both consortia will develop separate prototypes of the BMS system for which the defence ministry will reimburse 80 per cent of the expenditure. The deal, under the defence procurement policy, is one of the largest solutions to be built under the `Make' programme under the defence procurement procedure (DPP), BEL, a Navaratna PSU, said today.
The MBS is perhaps the first of the Narendra Modi government's 'Make' in India projects.
The project is meant to provide command and control capabilities to forces operating at the forward posts of the Tactical Battle Area at the battalion and combat group levels.
BMS is a situational awareness and visualisation system that aims to optimise the operational effectiveness of tactical units, BEL said in a release here.
A special 'integrated project management team' (IPMT) of the defence ministry will select the better prototype, and both consortia will then bid for the contract to mass-produce the BMS for the military. The lowest bidder will get the contract to mass-produce the BMS.
The development agencies have been chosen on the basis of their technology and indigenisation plans.
BEL is reported to have been proactively working on battlefield management systems and the company has established the test bed of BMS for continuous evaluation and implementation of user requirements.
Rolta has also invested significantly in BMS technologies indigenously and has over the years delivered cutting edge command, control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C2ISR) systems, to the Indian armed forces.