Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has handed over two new weapons – the Nipun mines, the Landing Craft Assault (LCA) and the F-INSAS system – to the Army.


What is the F-INSAS system?

  • F-INSAS stands for Future Infantry Soldier As A System, a programme for infantry modernisation aimed at increasing the operational capability of the soldier.
  • As part of the project, soldiers are being equipped with modern systems that are lightweight, all-weather-all-terrain, cost-effective and low maintenance.
  • The full-gear of the F-INSAS system includes an AK-203 assault rifle, which is a Russian-origin gas-operated, magazine-fed, select fire assault rifle. It has a range of 300 metre, and is being made in Amethi in a Russia-India joint venture.
  • Apart from that F-INSAS provides soldiers with ballistic helmets, ballistic goggles, and bullet-proof jackets. The helmet and the bullet-proof jacket are capable of protecting the soldier against 9 mm bullets and ammunition fired from AK-47 rifles.
  • For target acquisition, the soldier has rifle-mounted holographic sight for fast and accurate aiming with a range of 200 metre. The helmet has a mounted night-vision device for operating in low-light conditions.
  • The F-INSAS system also brings in hands-free, secured advanced communications set for real-time exchange of information with the command posts and enhanced situational awareness.


What is F-INSAS modelled on?

  • Conceived in the 2000s, F-INSAS is one among many such soldier modernisation programmes across the world.
  • The US has Land Warrior, while the UK has FIST (Future Integrated Soldier Technology). According to estimates, over 20 armies around the world are following such programmes.
  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) modelled around the targets of the Army’s Infantry Soldier Modernisation Programme.
  • DRDO scientists revealed that similar infantry modernisation programmes from the US, France, Germany and Israel were studied for the Indian project.
  • The quality requirements for the project were set by the Army.


What are Nipun mines?

  • Nipun mines are indigenously designed and developed anti-personnel mines. They are meant to act as the first line of defence against infiltrators and enemy infantry.
  • They have been developed with the efforts of Armament Research and Development Establishment, Pune and the Indian industry.
  • Anti-personnel mines are meant to be used against humans, as against anti-tank mines that are aimed at heavy vehicles.
  • They are smaller in size and can be deployed in large numbers.


What is the LCA?

The Landing Craft Assault (LCA) is meant to be a replacement for boats with limited capabilities currently in use in the Pangong Tso lake. The LCA, which has been indigenously developed by Aquarius Ship Yard Limited, Goa, has better launch, speed and capacity to operate across the water obstacles in eastern Ladakh.