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Tonbo Imaging, a startup based in Bengaluru, India has won a $100 million contract to manufacture and export ‘night-vision sights’ for guns to be sold by an American arms company, Unified Weapon Systems Inc, to the Peruvian army.
Arvind Lakshmikumar, CEO of Tonbo Imaging, said about the deal: “Close to 10,000 weapons will be equipped with Tonbo’s thermal imaging sight with a total order of over $100 million over the next decade”.
Apart from production of weaponry, the deal also transfers technology of the assault rifles and weapon sights. This means local technicians in Peru will learn how to make modern rifles and weapon sights.
According to indiatimes.com, the Peruvian government signed a $1.5 billion deal with UWS to assemble and jointly manufacture 300,000 rifles to modernise the weaponry of the armed forces and its national police.
The Ministry of Defence has launched a hunt for a new-generation assault rifle . According to the RFI (Request for Information), the army is looking to procure 185,000 assault rifles with about 65,000 to be delivered over the next four to 28 months. “This package is now being offered to the Indian army as a part of the Indian army RFI for assault weapons. We will be doing field trials with various army groups to demonstrate the capabilities of the weapon,” Lakshmikumar said. When asked how Tonbo would meet the requirements of both the Indian and Peruvian governments, Lakshmikumar said, “We have set up relationships with contract manufacturers who have the potential to scale up. With our current ecosystem, we can build up to 4,000 sights in a month. We currently don’t make anywhere near that number. But if the orders come in, our process is set up for scale and capacity.” By owning the intellectual property rights for the design and manufacture of its products, Tonbo exerts control over the supply chain. As a next step, Tonbo plans to push its products across other military segments such as land systems, UAVs, weapon systems and missiles and create global adoption of Indian-made products.