DNA exclusive: Army’s rifle plan; 10kg burden on soldiers, $250mn on us

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by utubekhiladi, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

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    In a controversial move, the Indian Army’s infantry directorate has invited bids to replace its outdated INSAS rifles with those with interchangeable barrels. Opting for such a fancy weapon means that our soldiers will have to carry both barrels and also battle with two kinds of ammunition — an additional load of at least 10kg per soldier.

    Surprisingly, just one European arms manufacturing firm will be able to meet the army’s requirement. At present, the army seeks to procure 65, 768 such rifles, but the requirement could go up to 20 lakh rifles. DNA accessed the RFP (request for proposal) floated by the army headquarters a while ago for the acquisition of the rifles that will cost the Indian taxpayer about $250 million in the first phase.

    The army’s decision to opt for rifles with interchangeable barrels is seen as a regressive move by many in the South Block that houses the ministry of defence. Most rifles come with a single calibre, usually 7.62mm or a 5.56mm. However, most modern armies have moved to the 5.56mm calibre because it is light and allows a soldier to carry more ammunition. It is also believed that a lower calibre bullet ties down more enemy troops compared to the 7.62mm calibre rifles.

    “Someone needs to get his head examined to propose such a thing,” said a senior general who served with the elite special forces. “If it converted a rifle into a light machine gun, I can still understand, even though it is undesirable. But this is a crazy idea.”
    Further, of the 32 manufacturers who have been sent a RFP, only one European firm fits the bill perfectly, raising questions about the army’s decision.

    The RFP stipulates that the rifle must be able to change its calibre from 5.56 x 45mm to 7.62 x 39mm and vice-versa. The barrels, it says, should not be less than 16 inches in length for both the calibres.

    The RPF further states that the weight of the weapon with an empty magazine should not exceed 3.6kg for either of the calibres. And in case the “visible aimer” and “holographic/reflex sights” are integrated, the combined weight should not be more than 400gm.

    Sources said if the rifles are purchased, it would mean a load of at least 10kg more on every soldier, more maintenance to avoid performance and accuracy slump because of constant barrel and part change, and a lot more money. Subsequent phases will see all central and state police forces switching to the new rifle as a successful bidder will also be asked to transfer the technology to Indian ordinance factories.

    The fancy assault rifles are meant to replace the locally designed and less superior 5.56mm INSAS rifles that were developed in 1987 and came into service around 1994-95. They were mainly used for counter-insurgency operations, but have been found to be inadequate and problematic with frequent jamming and a low rate of fire. Its design is also outdated with most modern armies in China, France and Britain having moved on to the “bull-pup” design.

    A pre-bid meeting to clarify doubts of the arms manufacturers will be held on December 30. The technical offer will be opened on February 13, 2012.

    DNA exclusive: Army’s rifle plan; 10kg burden on soldiers, $250mn on us - India - DNA
     
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  3. JAISWAL

    JAISWAL Senior Member Senior Member

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    W.G.Ewald likes this.
  4. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Good thing..

    Guru (MoD) Kumhar Shisa ( Inf Dte) kumbha hai Ghar ghar kadhe khot ...!!!

    but the other line of the stanza is not applicable . Alas!
     
  5. hitesh

    hitesh New Member

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    LOL no soldier carries 2 barrels for a rifle on a battle field ,big LOL to the reporting .

    By using multi caliber rifle the army wants to field guns depending on the requirement like for eliminating tango's (kunal's :p/technical term for terrorist) role use heavy caliber & for regular infantry role use lighter 5.56 mm ,this doesnt means all the soldiers would be carrying one additional barrel on the action . the same rifle 'll be used for all purpose by just replacing the barrel
     
  6. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Well, there are way too many calibres to choose from.

    I think we should simply stick to two different calibres, 7.62 and 5.56; with different rifles, of course.
    • 9×19mm Parabellum
    • 9x18mm Makarov
    • 5.45×39mm Soviet "Poison Bullet"
    • 5.56x45mm
    • 7.62x39mm
    • 7.62x54mm Rimmed (formerly Russian)
    • 7.62×51mm NATO
    • 20x82mm
    The emboldened ones are currently used by Indian forces. Personally, for the two calibres, I would go for the ones in blue, on separate guns with fixed calibre. We already have infrastructure for 7.62 NATO and we can develop one for 5.45 Soviet rounds. These two calibres will do well. The former will be effective against vehicles and harder targets while the latter will be good for taking down human enemies and enable the soldier to carry lots of ammo. We will of course, also need 7.62R for our Dragunovs and can also be used in PKs.
     
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  7. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    It is always an option to carry an extra barrel for a machinegunner using a Bren. There is nothing unusual about carrying an extra barrel; however, personally, I do not like this idea for the standard rifleman.
     
  8. hitesh

    hitesh New Member

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    Thats why i mentioned RIFLE & not machine gun .

    Bren has a good feature that you can take off the barrel with out any tool with in 4 sec & put a new one ,INSAS LMG has no such feature hence you wont carry a extra barrel for it.
     
  9. hitesh

    hitesh New Member

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    There are only two names comes in my mind when you talk about multi caliber rifles :
    1.[​IMG]MASADA

    2.[​IMG]SCAR

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011

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