Army scraps the world's largest assault rifle tender

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by indiandefencefan, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. indiandefencefan

    indiandefencefan Regular Member

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    The scrapping of the seven-year quest is a setback to the Army's modernisation plans

    upload_2015-7-1_12-35-49.jpeg

    In a setback to the Indian soldier's quest for a reliable assault rifle, the Army has scrapped a four-year-old tender for purchasing 1.8 lakh weapons. In a June 15 letter to the four short-listed international firms, the Army said it was retracting the Rs 4,848-crore contract.

    In 2011, the Army floated a contract to supply Multi-Caliber Assault Rifles (MCAR) for the Army and the Navy to replace the existing INSAS rifles. An initial 65,678 assault rifles and 4,680 under barrel grenade launchers were to be procured off the shelf for Rs 2,500 crore. With over 1 lakh more rifles to be built by the Ordnance Factory Board through technology transfer, it was the world's largest such rifle contract.

    The scrapping of the seven-year quest is a setback to the Army's modernisation plans. Army chief general Dalbir Singh had, in January this year, identified assault rifles as one of 20 'critical requirements' including bulletproof jackets and artillery guns for the Army. The Army cannot blame anyone but itself.

    The rifle quest began with the Army's unhappiness with the indigenous 5.56 mm INSAS assault rifle which entered service in the late 1990s. But the solution to the INSAS's quality issues was to ask for a weapon so expensive with specifications so outlandish that it raised questions on the Army's competence in framing General Staff Qualitative Requirements.

    The Army wanted a rifle with interchangeable barrels firing different calibers, the 5.56 mm INSAS round and the 7.62 mm AK-47 round. The requirement originated in the present practice of soldiers in counterinsurgency operations using AK-47s and switching over to INSAS rifles in peace stations. Army officials say the specifications were deeply flawed.

    Five international firms - Beretta of Italy, Israeli Weapons Industries (IWI), Colt Defense of the US, Ceska Zbplojovka of Czech Republic - were shortlisted. All the weapons they presented for the trials were prototypes, meaning, none of them were actually in service with their respective armies.

    The contract appeared doomed right at the start in 2012 when the Army first delayed the technical evaluation of the rifles. Companies then began asking for extensions for sample submission. As of 2015, no trials of the competing weapons were conducted. A whiff of corruption accompanied the contract. It was speculated that the GSQRs were tailor-made by Army brass to favour one of the vendors.

    Another concern the Army had was cost. At over Rs 2 lakh a piece, each multi-caliber assault rifle with a conversion kit cost twice the price of a regular imported assault rifle and six times the cost of a Rs 35,000 OFB-made INSAS rifle.

    A General called the MCAR contract the equivalent of equipping a mass transport taxi service with Mercedes S-class saloons. Major General Mrinal Suman (retired) says the failure of the rifle contract shows the Army's deeply flawed system of framing GSQRs. "Just because you drive a car for 20 years does not give you the capability to design one.

    Acquisition staff are neither trained nor equipped to select weapons," he says. Experts say it will now take the Army at least five years to acquire rifles. The infantryman's wait continues.


    http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/army-tender-cancelled-multi-caliber-assault-rifles/1/448193.html




     
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  3. indiandefencefan

    indiandefencefan Regular Member

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    So what now guys ??
    What comes next ?????
    Will it be the Ghatak asssault rifle or MCIWS to replace the INSAS in our inventories??

    @ALBY @Kunal Biswas @Blackwater @Srinivas_K @Bhadra @jouni @pmaitra @sob

    Please comment on this new development and suggest suitable replacements our army can adopt in place of these rifles.
     
  4. Shaitan

    Shaitan Zandu balm all day Senior Member

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    That contract reeked of something bad. And also the recent FRCV contract too reeks.
     
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  5. FRYCRY

    FRYCRY Regular Member

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    Can someone tell me why INSAS suck, i dont have any military knowledge . Tell me in simple words ,
     
  6. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    May be they should go for best AK 47 model in the market an produce them here in India as a stop gap measure and cheaper option.

    For special forces and future requirements we have some domestic programs and forming a JV with foreign companies will help our armed forces.

     
  7. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    IA should go for .303. they are ealisly available in various junkyard and guess what, they dont need tender for that

    :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. avknight1408

    avknight1408 Regular Member

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    What happen to MCIWS? Is it undergoing any trial? Does the army want it?
     
  9. indiandefencefan

    indiandefencefan Regular Member

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    The MCIWS is reportedly under a late stage of development and will undergo trials soon according to what I have heard.
     
  10. Immanuel

    Immanuel Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ideally we can just get FN SCAR family of products, quite reliable, come in 2 useful calibers, used by a lot of SF units including majority of SOCOM, Germans, Belgians, even our own SFF & Special Group uses it. I am sure FN which has allowed license manufacture in the past would easily allow for this. Combine this with increased orders of new gen Tar-21, X-95 and we should be good. As for MMG we should order the Negev NG7. Not sure if IA will ever really accept the MCIWS or any other rifle made in India.
     
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  11. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    This has become the norm with every single deal india does . Wait five to ten years cancel due to price hikes , new technology or new government any silly reason and the deal collapses.
     
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  12. Shadow

    Shadow Regular Member

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    [​IMG]
    Give our men a handful of these..
     
  13. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    All dodgy tenders are going to be cancelled. IMO the MCIWS is a good gun and should be taken up for trials immediately.
     
  14. Abhijeet Dey

    Abhijeet Dey Regular Member

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INSAS_rifle

    During the 1999 Kargil War, the rifles were used in the high-altitudes of the Himalayas. There were complaints of jamming, the magazine cracking due to the cold and the rifle going into automatic mode when it was set for three-round bursts. There was also a problem of oil being sprayed into the eye of the operator. Some injuries during firing practice were also reported.

    Similar complaints were also received from the Nepalese Army. In August 2005, after 43 soldiers were killed in a clash with Maoists, a Nepalese Army spokesman called the rifle substandard and their counter-insurgency operation would have been more efficient with better weapons. The Indian embassy released a statement that rejected the claim and attributed it to improper use, it also offered training for the rifle's correct use.

    On 8 August 2011, Pallam Raju, then Minister of State for Defence, replying to a question in the Lok Sabha said that all these problems had been rectified. In November 2014, the CRPF requested to drop the INSAS as their standard rifle due to problems with reliability. The Director General of CRPF Dilip Trivedi said that the INSAS jams more frequently compared to the AK-47 and the X-95.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
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  15. ALBY

    ALBY Elite Member Elite Member

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    Another classic case of Army's idiotic procurement policy.Thank god they scrapped the deal.Buying assault rifles like ARX-160 with all those unwanted gizmos which were of little use compared with SF /RR was an absolute waste of money plus those weapons need extreme care too.There are reports that ordinary CRPF guys hesitate to carry X-95s in naxal areas coz it draws unwanted attention plus those weapons had to be dealt with extreme care unlike AK/INSAS/SLR.
    For SFs and other elite units such weapons are a must but for general infantry a decent weapon which never jams and shoots straight fitted with a simple optic will do the job.
    Even the SFs don't indulge in modifications of extreme levels and most of the highly modified riles found in net are civilian sporter versions.
    Simple and proven weapons like AK modified to western standards will do the job in CT area and for regular infantry a revamped version of INSAS with rails and a simple optic and folding butt will be enough.
    Steps taken by USA,UK,Hungary,Russia,and germany with their assault rifles should be a model for us.They never discarded their weapons but changed it according to the changing scenarios and revamped them whenever there was a need for improvement was felt.
     
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  16. Abhijeet Dey

    Abhijeet Dey Regular Member

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    They should start trials for MCIWS. But the most important item right now for Indian jawans are helmets and bulletproof vests.
     
  17. indiandefencefan

    indiandefencefan Regular Member

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    @ALBY, concerning your statement which i have quoted above, I have seen in an interview conducted around 4-5 years ago that the CRPF guys say the for a smaller caliber rifle they prefer to carry the X-95 over INSAS.
    However, now you are stating that they prefer not to carry due to extreme care required and attention received.
    Can you please elaborate on the topic as this is an unheard development for me plus the CRPF COBRA units are equipped with the Tavor as one of their primary weapons so what instead they prefer to carry inplace of the Tavor since they are also keen on replacing the INSAS they have, is it AKs ??
     
  18. jouni

    jouni Senior Member Senior Member

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    Quality control...what is wrong with your INSAS? Our RK62 is 53 years old and will be in service until 2035...quality control....
     
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  19. SafedSagar

    SafedSagar Regular Member

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    How about no?
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    NEW DELHI: India will now re-launch the hunt for new-generation assault rifles for its 1.18-million strong Army, following the scrapping its four-year-old tender for the guns worth around Rs 4,850 crore.

    TOI on May 20 had reported that the proposed mega project for the assault rifles, with interchangeable barrels for conventional warfare and counter-insurgency operations, was on the verge of being scrapped since it had run into major problems.

    Now, the armament firms that had participated in the extensive trials -- Colt (US), Beretta (Italy), Ceska (Czech) and Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) - have been told that the proposed contract was being retracted.

    This is a serious blow to the long-standing demand for new rifles to replace the 5.56mm indigenous INSAS (Indian small arms system) guns, which have suffered from technical bugs since their induction in 1994-95.

    As per the now-cancelled project, 65,000 rifles were to be directly acquired from the selected foreign vendor to equip the 120 infantry battalions deployed on the western and eastern fronts. The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) was to then subsequently manufacture over 1,13,000 such rifles after getting transfer of technology from the foreign company.

    But the proposal for the new rifles -- with a 5.56x45mm primary barrel for conventional warfare and a 7.62x39mm secondary one for counter-terror operations - was found to be "impractical" both in terms of high costs and technical requirements, said sources.

    The plan now is to either get a foreign arms company to shift some of its manufacturing facilities to India or task the OFB to manufacture the new assault rifles with foreign collaboration.

    Weighing around 3.5-kg, the new rifle will need to have a 1-km range, advanced night-vision devices, holographic reflex sights, laser designators, detachable under-barrel grenade launchers and the like.

    The INSAS rifles, with an effective range of just 450-metre and weighing over 4.25-kg, had replaced the even more cumbersome 7.62mm self-loading rifles. The Army also uses over one lakh AK-47s, known the world over for their sheer ruggedness and fail-safe nature, for counter-insurgency operations in J&K and northeast.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...ping-4-yr-old-tender/articleshow/47905147.cms
     
  20. Shadow

    Shadow Regular Member

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    Why can't indian army wait for MCIWS?
     
  21. Abhijeet Dey

    Abhijeet Dey Regular Member

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    What are the major shortfalls or disadvantages of indigenous developed MCIWS?
     

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