New Delhi: Primarily, the IAF is looking for vehicles that can be transported with its C-17 and C-130 transports.
“An armored vehicle that can be transported by air, capable of all terrain operations — both cross country and urban terrain — by Special Forces and easy to handle with minimum maintenance,” a request for information released by the IAF read.
Among other specifications, the IAF has demanded a minimum 350-kilometer operating range with a speed of 100 kmph on level highway. The vehicle will have six bullet-proof firing ports to enable preventive fire from inside the vehicle. The vehicles will be designed in such a way that Garud forces can be able to mount and fire a 5.56mm Light Machine Gun.
The IAF will provide 120 lightweight Night Vision Devices to its special forces. According to the document, modern binocular night vision goggle with capability of mounting on a bullet-proof helmet should be able to withstand shock and vibration during movement by vehicle or aircraft in combat situation. IAF will also equip its special commandos with 600 7.62mm rifles with sights and accessories and 200 40mm Under Barrel Grenade Launcher compatible with it.
The IAF’s Special Forces, the Garuds, are equipped with Tavor TAR-21 assault rifle, Heckler & Koch MP5 sub-machine guns for close quarter battle, a variant of the AK-47 and the potent M4 carbine. The Israeli Tavor will be made in India from this year as Israeli Weapon Industries has transferred small arms technologies to Indian defense firm Punj Lloyd.
The IAF had formed the Garuds, a dedicated elite commando wing, after two air bases were targeted by terrorists in 2001.