18 October 2016

How the GSQR/RFP for Assault Rifle Will Be Evolved?

Oct 14, 2016 

How the GSQR/RFP for Assault Rifle Will Be Evolved?

Request for Information or RFI seeks information from the vendors and the environment with a view to facilitate the Service HQs in this case the Indian Army to work out the General Staff Qualitative Requirement (GSQR) and then the Request for Proposal (RFP) which will be done in conjunction with the Technical Manager at the Acquisition Wing. 

This is evident from the main objectives of the RFI specified in the Defence Procurement Procedure 2016 (DPP 2016) which are (a) To formulate/refine/rationalise the SQRs; this exercise may involve rational combination of different product specifications and should result in a practical, achievable and aspirational product requirement. (b) To generate input for structuring the RFP. (c) To aid in deciding the acquisition category, based on the Defining Attributes and (d) To determine the indicative budgetary and cost implications.

RFI is also an advance intimation for the vendors to obtain requisite government clearances. This has been specified in the RFI particularly for selection of Indian joint venture partners or manufacturing licence for small arms. An assessment of the joint venture partners will also be made for which the competency map will be prepared by the Department of Defence Production.

Importantly in DPP 2016 there are distinguishing factors in terms of Essential Parameters -A. and Essential Parameters B which will be identified in the GSQR. Essential Parameters A are parameters that are generally a part of the contemporary equipment available in the market and form the core of the SQRs; Essential Parameters -A will be tested and validated at field trial stage.

Essential Parameters –B need not be available originally in the equipment fielded for the field trials but can be developed and achieved by the vendors using available technologies. These parameters need to be tested and validated within a specified time frame as stipulated in the contract. The tests for Essential Parameters -B are to be validated so that there is no adverse effect on any of the Essential Parameters -A. However, vendors are required to substantiate and need to provide an undertaking, at the bid submission stage, that they will develop and meet the Essential Parameters -B with their existing capabilities, on entering into a contract.

In addition there are Enhanced Performance Parameters (EPP) which are those parameters that enhance the capability of the equipment, vis-à-vis the essential parameters; a SQR may not contain EPP in all cases, however it is envisaged that there is likely to be EPP in the case of the Assault Rifle. Inability to meet the EPP does not preclude vendors from being eligible for the bidding/bid evaluation. However, if a vendor claims to have equipment meeting the EPP as specified in SQR and RFP, then they must provide details of the same in their technical bids, which have to be tested for compliance during the field trial stage. Equipment successfully meeting the EPP parameters will be awarded a credit score of up to 10%, for evaluation of L1, with each individual attribute not exceeding a credit score of up to 3%, as approved by the AoN according authority.

Thus an important outcome of the RFI is to determine what could be Essential Parameters A, Essential Parameters B and Enhanced Performance Parameters which will set the stage for procurement of the Assault Rifle through competitive bidding process.

Maj Gen (Retd) Umong Sethi is a distinguished soldier scholar with wide experience in the armed forces and the government including procurement 

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