India is set to acquire an unspecified number of Israeli cutting-edge fire control systems, including SMASH-2000 Plus which would help tackle drone threats from close range besides improving a soldier’s accuracy and speed of hitting targets.
As reported by EurAsian Times, the SMASH-2000 ‘fire control system’ looks like any other expensive optical sight attached to a rifle, but it certainly packs a lot more technology than a casual electro-optic technology. The system is developed by Smart Shooter, a company that has been developing systems to help militaries track and engage moving targets.
Israel is perhaps the only country that has served as the bedrock of India’s defense in recent months. It has provided India every opportunity to prime its frontiers, which surely has given the latter an edge in its technological capability to counter China and Pakistan.
The Indian Army along with the Border Security Force are already in talks with an Israeli firm, Smart Shooter for the supply of SMASH-2000 Plus fire control systems, which will be installed mainly on AK-47 and AK 203 rifles. SMASH is a kind of electro-optic sight system.
“SMASH 2000 Plus provides an inimitable hard-kill solution against the growing threats of drones, and delivers proven ability to hit any ground or airborne targets and eliminate the threat quickly and effectively,” Michal Mor, the (Israeli) company’s CEO was quoted by media as saying.
“We will be happy to keep offering the Indian Military diverse cutting-edge solutions for protection against ground and aerial threats at land, air, and sea,” she added. According to the company, the built-in targeting algorithms in SMASH 2000 Plus can track and hit very small drones skimming along at high speed, at ranges of up to 120 meters, with the first shot.
Based on the SMASH 2000 system, SMASH 2000 Plus includes the whole feature set with an additional advanced Counter-UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) mode, which provides the accurate hard-kill capability to counter the emerging drone threat.
Introduced by the company in the market in 2019, the electro-optic (EO) sight system provides a day and night rapid target acquisition capability to target small, fast-moving aerial threats such as incendiary balloons and kites (which had been used by the Hamas in Gaza). This was later upgraded to target small, moving drones from closer ranges.
Interestingly, the Indian Navy’s new order has come within a week of Navy Day (December 4) when the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh had reiterated to buy a third aircraft carrier, that would be in sync with the country’s aspiration to become a 5 trillion USD economy.
Chag Hannukkah Sameach to the friendly people of Israel and Jewish friends all over the world. May the festival bring peace and light in our lives and kindle more warmth to the relationship between our people.@netanyahu @PresidentRuvi
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 10, 2020
The Navy chief had made it “absolutely necessary for an aspirational India that has nearly one-fifth of the global population and wants to raise its overall stature”. The Navy has been pitching for three aircraft carriers to deal with China’s growing naval prowess and its growing influence over the Indian Ocean region. At present, India has only one aircraft carrier – INS Vikramaditya, which is a Russian-origin platform.
But, surprisingly, this proposal has not gone well off with Chief of Defense Staff Bipin Rawat, who had expressed that the proposal, in February last, would not get approval owing to its extremely high cost.
In fact, India has been on a weapon buying spree from all across the world, be it the US, Israel or France, and other countries. Hence, citing a financial constrain is certainly out of place, but unfortunately, it did bring ‘the not so required spat’ between Karambir Singh and Bipin Rawat in the open.
India knows it too well that Turkish drones have come in in handy to Azerbaijan in its recent war (November 2020) with Armenia, which made Ukraine seek 50 Turkish Bayraktar drones, on November 26, 2020.
Turkey is gearing up to supply the same to Pakistan, according to EurAsian Times on November 29, 2020. Hence, it is imperative for India to counter the drone challenge from Turkey, which has also supported Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir.
Turkey, Pakistan, and China, supported by Russia, are now firmly in a bloc pitched against India, which has aligned with the rival bloc led by the US, after signing BECA with it. India’s growing military alliance with Israel also has strengthened the two-bloc rivalry. How India will meet the new challenge, particularly, after the US President-elect Joseph Biden assumes office, only time will tell.
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