PUNE: The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has initiated the process of procuring automatic chemical agent detector and alarm (ACADA) system for detecting, monitoring and identifying chemical agents in battlefields.

Last week, the army chief had expressed concerns over the increasing threats from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons and said that the same was becoming a reality. 

A senior army officer told TOI over the phone from New Delhi. "The ACADA is capable of providing an audio and visual alarm in an event of a chemical strike before the contamination reaches the troops. This will provide the troops with the opportunity to wear protective equipment and maintain operational effectiveness in a highly volatile contaminated environment. Such equipment were used effectively by the US troops while fighting against ISIS in the recent past."

A senior MoD official said, "The ministry has issued a request for information (RFI) to global and Indian manufacturers and vendors recently. The RFI incorporates operational parameters that should be met by the equipment, tentative date of the issue of the request for proposal (RFP) and the quantity required to be procured." 

The tentative date of the issue of the procurement request is June 2018, he added. "The total quantity required is approximately 3,400. It will be procured in a phased manner over a period of around 10 years. The vendors should confirm if they can deliver the requisite quantity within the stipulated time frame," the RFI mentioned.

Defence sources said, "Indian armed forces have taken conscious steps in imparting training to their troops on how to operate in an extremely volatile condition (CBRN attack). They are currently equipped with NBC suits and some equipment."