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Indigenous Canister Launched Anti Armour Loitering Munition (CALM) to be Fitted on BMP-2K Infantry Vehicles

Source : IgMp Bureau

Indigenous Canister Launched Anti Armour Loitering Munition (CALM) to be Fitted on BMP-2K Infantry Vehicles
Upgraded BMP-2M with Israeli weapons and sensors displayed by Armoured Vehicle Nigam Limited (AVNL) in Defence Expo 2022 (File Photo)

In a significant development, the Ministry of Defence has granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the procurement of the Canister Launched Anti Armour Loitering Munition (CALM) system for BMP-2K infantry vehicles under the Buy Indian category. Recent reports indicate that several core technologies in the system will be indigenously designed and developed, including electric propulsion, motor technology, battery and airframe technology, and a high explosive anti-tank warhead.

Indian Army’s Acquisition Plans

The Indian Army had issued two requests for proposals (RFPs) in November 2022, one for 180 canister-launched anti-armour loitering munition (CALM) systems with accessories and another for nine integrated drone detection and interdiction systems (improved version).

Features of Canister-Launched Anti-Armour Loitering Munition

The RFP specified that the indigenous content should be around 60 percent, and these loiter munitions must have High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warheads. Additionally, it called for 14 indoor simulators, 45 Ground Control Systems with antenna systems, and 14 training loitering munitions with inert warheads. The munition should have a Beyond Visual Range (BVR) capability of up to 15 km.

The Indian Army plans to deploy these indigenously developed smart loitering munition systems with its mechanised formations to neutralize the enemy’s armoured elements.

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BMP-2M upgraded prototype with Israeli PALM-1250 Canister Launched Loitering Munition (Left) and Spike ATGM (Center) displayed at Defence Expo 2022 (File Photo)

Storage and Shelf Life

According to the RFP, the shelf life service of the deliverables should be at least 10 years for loitering munitions, around 15 years for ground control systems, and at least 15 years for simulators. Post Joint Receipt Inspection (180 Loiter Munitions with HEAT warhead), the deliverables supplied according to the RFP are to be preserved for 10 years. The warranty period should be 36 months for the deliverables that will be supplied.

Deployment Plans

The Army plans to use CALM not only in plains but also in deserts along the Western borders and along the northern borders at high altitude areas of 16,500 feet.

Overview of Loitering Munitions

Loitering munitions are a combination of a drone and a surface-to-surface missile. They have the capability to carry warheads and onboard surveillance equipment. Launched like a drone, they stay aloft for a longer duration, seeking targets and surveying a designated area. Once the target is identified, they lock on and act like a missile to destroy their target. In case a mission is aborted, they can be recovered. Cheaper and less complex than armed or combat drones, these munitions are smaller in size.

Integrated Drone Detection and Interdiction System

The army is looking for an improved version of this system, which will be procured through open tender inquiry. It is integrated through a suitable Command and Control System and has an active and passive detection system for low Radar Cross Section aerial targets. It comes with hard kill and certain soft kill options.

Conclusion

The induction of the Canister Launched Anti Armour Loitering Munition (CALM) system marks a significant step towards enhancing the Indian Army’s capabilities in modern warfare. With its indigenous design and development, the system is poised to bolster India’s defense preparedness and strengthen its position on the global stage.

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