India Acquires 72,400 Assault Rifles from US-Based SIG Sauer
India has signed a contract with a US firm for 72,400 SIG 716 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines.
India has signed a contract with a US firm for 72,400 SIG 716 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines at a cost of around Rs 3,547 crore on fast track procurement procedure on Tuesday, 12 February, The Hindu reported.
According to The Hindu report, the Army signed a contract with US-based Sig Sauer of the US for 72,400 SIG 716 assault rifles for the frontline soldier deployed in operational areas.
As part of the agreement, India will get around 72,400 7.62mm rifles from US firm SiG Sauer in one year from the day of signing the deal, officials from the Defence Ministry said.
Of the 72,400 rifles, 66,400 will be used by the Army; 2,000 for the Navy and 4,000 for the Indian Air Force. The assault rifle has an effective range of 500m and weigh less than 3kg, The Hindu said.
This procurement will replace the 5.56 x 45mm INSAS (Indian National Small Arms System) Rifle currently in use by the troops. The new 7.62 X 51mm Assault Rifle is more compact, robust and modern in technology and simple to maintain in field conditions, a defence ministry official told PTI.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had, earlier this month, approved the procurement of the Sig Sauer rifles, which will be used by troops deployed along the nearly 3,600-km border with China.
In October 2017, the Army began the process to acquire around 7 lakh rifles, 44,000 light machine guns (LMGs) and nearly 44,600 carbines.
Around 18 months ago the Army had rejected an assault rifle built by the State-run Rifle Factory, Ishapore, after the guns miserably failed the firing tests. Following this, the Army started scouting for rifles from the global market.
Separate tenders for 5.5 lakh assault rifles and 3.5 lakh carbines, bulk of them to be procured from the Indian industry under ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ category and a small share from the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) are also underway.
The Defence Acquisition Council had approved the initial approval for the procurement of 72,400 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines at an estimated cost of Rs 3,547 crore on fast track basis in January 2018.
(With inputs from The Hindu and PTI)
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