In­dian Army wants com­bat flame-throw­ers


The In­dian Army’s Direc­torate of In­fantry has an­nounced its in­ten­tion to pro­cure an un­spec­i­fied num­ber of com­bat dis­pos­able-type flame-throw­ers for fight­ing units de­ployed in coun­terin­sur­gency ar­eas. The Army has re­vealed the flame-throw­ers will be used dur­ing con­ven­tional and sub­con­ven­tional op­er­a­tions against hos­tile el­e­ments as well as for train­ing pur­poses. The shape and size of the flame-thrower should be such that it can com­fort­ably be car­ried and used by a sin­gle sol­dier. It should be sta­ble for stor­age for the com­plete shelf life and should not be prone to ac­ci­dents while in stor­age or be­ing trans­ported un­der op­er­a­tional con­di­tions. The max­i­mum and the min­i­mum range at which flame-thrower (dis­pos­able) can ef­fec­tively en­gage tar­gets will need to be pro­duced as in­for­ma­tion by in­ter­ested sup­pli­ers. The re­quire­ment is a sur­pris­ing one, given that mil­i­tary flamethrow­ers aren’t much in use any­more. For in­stance, the US mil­i­tary dis­con­tin­ued the use of flame-throw­ers for com­bat op­er­a­tions in 1978, and they do not fig­ure in any cur­rent ar­se­nals. Flame-throw­ers were used in the World Wars and the Viet­nam War ex­ten­sively, but were sub­se­quently found to be in­ef­fec­tive in most op­er­a­tional sce­nar­ios, given their close-com­bat re­quire­ment. The In­dian Army will be look­ing to use them against bunkers, for­ti­fi­ca­tions, built-up ar­eas to flush out ter­ror­ists, etc.

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