Even though the procurement of 93,895 close-quarter-battle carbines (CQB) a deal worth $ 553.33 million been put on Fast Track Procurement (FTP), the final report of the Oversight Committee is awaited Despite efforts of the Indian Army to fast track the procurement of small arms, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is considering to issue a fresh request for proposal (RfP) for the procurement of 93,895 close-quarter-battle carbines (CQB), a deal worth $553.33 mn. The Indian Army needs almost five lakh CQBs.
The deal which was expected to be signed under the FTP has been stuck as the bidders who were not down selected complained to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) against the UAE based company Caracal which was the lowest bidders for the CQBs. A nine-member committee headed by an Army brigadier has been receiving complaints regarding non-compliance of Caracal of UAE from French Company Thales and S&T Motiv of South Korea.
Concerns have also been expressed to the nine member committee about the ability of Caracal to supply 93,895 weapons within a period of 12 months as required under the RfP.
Sources confirmed to Financial Express Online that the UAE Company had failed to submit its response to the RfP as per the format of the commercial bid and the amount of Rs 70 crore was not reflected in the bid format which is used for determination of L1 vendor.
As has been reported earlier, the UAE based company had started its commercial production in 2014 and till date does not have a lot of orders to indicate that it has the capacity to produce 93,895 CQBs. This is expected to impact the life cycle of the weapon as the company has no previous data to establish the reliability of the CQB.
Caracal of the UAE and Reliance Armaments with S&T Motiv of South Korea were competing for this deal. The nine member team had gone to facilities of the competing companies before being invited for the extensive trials in India for testing with the Indian ammunition and in different terrains and temperature.
Representatives of the S&T Motiv, producers of small arms for the last four decades were part of the delegation when South Korean President Moon Jae-in had visited India last July. Sources confirmed the South Korean Company had offered to set up its manufacturing base in India and had offered to transfer technology to produce the CQBs under Make in India initiative.