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Indian Army outlines loiter munition procurement programme

The armament of the T-72 MBT (pictured above) – taking part in an Indian Army exercise in November 2022 – includes a 125 mm main gun, a 7.62 mm co-axial machine gun, and a 12.7 mm gun. The Indian Army seeks to integrate the CALM system into the tank. (Janes/Kapil Kajal)

The Indian Army has outlined a programme to procure canister-launched anti-armour loiter munition (CALM) systems and associated accessories to enhance the operational efficiency of the mechanised infantry.

According to an initial procurement notice issued by the Indian Army on 21 March, the service seeks to procure CALM systems to integrate them on T-72 and T-90 main battle tanks (MBTs), BMP-2 armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs), carrier mortar tracked vehicles, and reconnaissance vehicles.

The Indian Army seeks to procure 180 CALM systems to provide remote-controlled beyond-visual-line-of-sight capability to the mechanised infantry and armoured units at stand-off ranges of up to 15 km to destroy enemy AFVs with a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead.

In addition, the Indian Army intends to procure associated accessories, such as 45 ground control stations (GCSs) with antenna systems, 14 indoor simulators, 14 training loiter munitions (LMs) with inert warheads, technical literature, and training aggregates.

According to the Indian Army, the launch altitude of the CALM system must be up to 4,500 m above the mean sea level. A hermetically sealed canister must be provided with each LM, and the weight of each LM with canister must not exceed 25 kg.

The canister should feature a heated gas pneumatic-assisted launch capability to fire the LM, and the propulsion system of the munition must be electric. The loiter time of the munition must be at least 15 minutes at maximum operational range, with an endurance of at least 60 minutes.

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