SP's LandForces - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES - —SP’s Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent For com­plete ver­sions log on to: www.sp­s­land­

A 100-crore con­tract for the Army’s new BM21 multi-bar­rel rocket launcher ve­hi­cles is likely to be awarded shortly to the Ashok Leyland-L&T con­sor­tium that was de­clared low­est bid­der in the com­pe­ti­tion ear­lier this year. Sources say the com­pany is likely to be con­tracted for the sup­ply of about 100 units, cov­er­ing vir­tu­ally the en­tire BM21 Grad rocket arse­nal. The In­dian Army has bol­stered its rocket reg­i­ments with the Rus­sian Smerch sys­tem and in­dige­nous Pi­naka, both of which have proved to be ex­cel­lent per­form­ers. How­ever, with the Soviet-vin­tage Grad sys­tems still in func­tional form, a de­ci­sion was taken in 2009 to spruce up their car­ri­ers to ex­tend the lives of the BM21 rocket reg­i­ments. The Ashok Leyland-L&T con­sor­tium is poised to bid for other ve­hi­cle re­quire­ments of the Army too, as is Tata Mo­tors, to fill the void left by the Ta­tra con­tro­versy. As SP’s has re­ported be­fore, the In­dian Army is in the mar­ket for the en­tire spec­trum of spe­cialised ve­hi­cles from light in­fantry ve­hi­cles to heavy spe­cialty ve­hi­cles across the spec­trum of mis­sions and ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

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