The Indian Army has placed Project Sanction Order for prototype development of an Augmented Reality HMD System for Corps of Army Air Defence (AAD) to 6 Indian firms under Make-II procedure of DAP-2020. The AAD is responsible for the Point Air Defence to the strategic assets like nuclear plants, oil refineries, air bases, military production factory, communication nodes, logistic nodes, gun areas, surface-to-surface missile etc.
The Indian Army employs a mix of Air Defence systems. The surveillance radars, a component of air defence, have the capability to detect and track multiple targets and also communicate the coordinates of such targets to a distant location. This facility opens up opportunities for a fair weather system like the Soviet-era ZU-23-2 towed 23 mm twin-barrel weapon systems located at a distant location to use the coordinates received from the surveillance radar to better engage the incoming targets. A gunner equipped with the Augmented Reality Head Mounted Display System can target the air threat better with the input received from these radars. Such systems are already used by the aircraft pilots.
Other than upgrading fair weather guns, the Indian Army is in the process of acquiring both guns and missiles to engage aerial targets with and without the fire control radar, either simultaneously or independently. Although the Russian KBP Tula’s Pantsir comes with a 3 D radar with the capability of picking up small objects, including drones, it did not clear the 30-degree gradient test during trials. The other two shortlisted guns, K-30 Biho (Flying Tiger) twin 30mm short-range mobile self-propelled anti-aircraft system of Hanwha Defense comes without a radar and Almaz Ante’s upgraded Tunguska system did not pass the test.
The program calls for procurement of five regiments, or 104 systems, for gun-missiles systems, including 4,928 missiles and 172,260 rounds of ammunition costing $1.6 billion.