Army fast-tracks procurement of assault rifles

Army fast-tracks procurement of assault rifles

Army fast-tracks procurement of assault rifles

Indian Army on Friday issued a Request for Information to procure 5.5 lakh assault rifles under the Make in India category.

In addition, a RFI for 6,000 sniper rifles has also been released.

The armed forces require 8.1 lakh assault rifles for the three services, out of which Army alone needs 7.6 lakh rifles to replace the home made Indian Small Arms System (INSAS), which was inducted in 1978 to maim the enemy.

The new rifles, on the other hand, would fulfill the "shoot to kill" objective, Army sources said.

While 5.5 lakh rifles are to be bought from the open market, another 1.8 lakh rifles will come from the Ordnance Factory Board. Taken together, the entire project is expected to cost around 12,300 crore.

Procurement of another 72,400 assault rifles through a fast tracked route has been approved last month by the Defence Acquisition Council headed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Fast-tracked

In both cases, the vendors have been asked to furnish the information within four weeks, so that the final tender (Request for Proposal) can be issued by March end.

The new 7.62×51 mm rifles would have a range of 500-550 mt, weigh less than 4 kg and be fitted with night vision equipment.

Since procuring assault rifles would take several years, the fast track route was chosen to purchase e 72,400 rifles that would be distributed sparingly to the infantry troops.

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