Indian Army prefers militant's weapons to their own

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by roach, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. roach

    roach Regular Member

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    I have had a chance to speak to several Indian Army officers who are stationed in Kashmir, engaged in Counter-Insurgency operations.

    They admit that the troops are not satisfied with the INSAS rifle and it's variants when it comes to the kind of combat they need it for- they openly favour the AK series of rifles (AK-47, 74 etc.)...

    It is a similar story with a lot of Indian ordinance. Their grenades have a very high failure rate; they actually prefer to collect and use the grenades that are captured from militants, as they are of a much better quality.

    While visiting a forward army base, I had the chance to use (i.e., fire) the army's standard-issue weapons- INSAS rifle, LMG, 9mm pistol etc.

    The 9mm pistol seemed of a very poor finish; in fact the plastic sheath of the grip fell off while was using it! It fired fine though :happy_2:

    Does anyone have the same experience? I'm trying to figure out what the army thinks about the quality of Indian-made equipment.

    Cheers
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I have some experience with Indian made weapons and also foreign weapons in the Indian Army's inventory. I daresay that Indian equipment is any less than the foreign ones.

    The reason why one prefers to use captured weapons is because if there is any damage to the issued weapons i.e. Indian Ordnance Factory weapons, there will be a Court of Inquiry with its attendant problems for the one who damaged it. Such strictness is not there for the captured weapons.

    I am surprised that the pistol grip or thereof fell off. Poor pre firing inspection by the unit is what I would say.
     
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  4. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    Service weapons should come back home to the company for inspections/repairs, so there's no scope for anyone to completely abandon their service weapons for those of the fallen enemies. Every weapon is tagged.

    Maybe among servicemen there's a long running joke just to say that service weapons are crappier than those cheap AK clones that are made in Pakistan. It often ends up as a debate between 5.56 and 7.62 mm rifles. And that's not because 5.56 is inferior to 7.62, but that Indian servicemen never really worked with quality 5.56 rifles. INSAS and IMI Galil don't fit that description. I'm sure if they're given better 5.56 rifles such as G36 series or even M4, their opinion will change.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  5. roach

    roach Regular Member

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    Thanks guys,

    That clears up a couple of misconceptions.

    Do you think it's possible that the INSAS, because it's 5.56, isn't suitable for CI operations? Stopping power and reliability, right?

    The AK-47 is just the best medium-range weapon, I think........

    Whatsay?
     
  6. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Insas is good but the supply of parts are not that good on front..
    Also 5.56 have a bad reputation regarding Ek goli Ek dushman..

    Specially in RR we do use captured weapons on patrols..
    RR mainly use AK-47 and we do use tango 56 ( ONLY GOOD ONES )..

    Though i like OFB 9mm pistol..
     
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  7. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    AK is seriously bad on accuracy and range..
    But reliable and require low maintenance..

    Their is a new round called 6.8mm in research in India also in Western world..
     
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  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    What is stopping power?

    Wiki states:

    Stopping power is a colloquial term used to describe the ability of a firearm or other weapon to cause a penetrating ballistic injury to a target, human or animal, sufficient to incapacitate the target where it stands
    .
    The term is not a euphemism for lethality. It refers only to a weapon's ability to incapacitate quickly, regardless of whether death ultimately ensues. Some theories of stopping power involve concepts such as "energy transfer" and "hydrostatic shock," although there is disagreement regarding the importance of these effects.

    Stopping power is related to the physical properties of the bullet and the effect it has on its target, but the issue is complicated and not easily studied. Critics contend that the importance of "one-shot stop" statistics is overstated, pointing out that most gun encounters do not involve a "shoot once and see how the target reacts" situation.

    Stopping is usually caused not by the force of the bullet (especially in the case of handgun and rifle bullets), but by the damaging effects of the bullet, which are typically a loss of blood, and with it, blood pressure.

    ***********

    The issue is does the weapon incapacitates the enemy? If it does, then it is fine.

    The accepted range by which a rifle is to incapacitate the enemy is 300 yds. For doing so at greater ranges, there are other weapons like the LMG, MMG, HMG.

    Now if the rifle is to do the task of an HMG, then why have a rifle? One has to understand internal, external and terminal ballistics to understand the behaviour of a bullet and the bullet's design and 'powder' also plays a role in what is known as the 'stopping power'. The wound ballistics are also pertinent.

    How does one stop the enemy?

    It is done in a graduated manner. HMGs at greater distances and then the LMG and then the rifle and then the Sten and pistol for CQB. In addition area weapons like artillery and mortars of various calibres are used. Rifles are used in the intermediate range between the LMG and the CQB weapons.

    In my rather long service, I have observed the change from WWII weapons to the modern ones. In so far as the calibre etc are concerned, we have been enamoured by NATO and US theories. The fact that the US military industry nexus is a powerful one and hence they are always innovating or putting forward theories that encourage a change in weaponry so that they can engine their companies. Their strong advocating of 5.56 as the nirvana caused the whole world to change to 5.56 and now they are touting a medium calibre between the 5.56 and 7.62 with the accompanying marvels that it will so cause.

    It must be understood that the IA follows the British concept of holding fire till the 'whites of the eyes' of the enemy can be seen. The Americans on the other hand, feel comfortable engaging at long range with automatic fire. The luxury of expending ammunition is not a hindrance to them given their economy and facilities for replenishment. IA cannot afford that luxury for a variety of reasons. In the mountains for instance, ammunition is hauled up on man or mules and not by helicopters since we do not have the multitude of aircraft to sanitise the area to permit helicopter insertion of munitions and other warlike materiel. In mobile battles, because of the lack of excessive airpower to sanitise the area, the soldier has to rely on what is on manpack and in the F and A ech and then await the replenishment from the rear. Therefore, the US mode of operating is different from ours.

    A study of the ISAF operations would indicate their mode of operating. In comparison, I daresay we have done better. There are good reasons for that too that space constraints discussion.

    One should also not be enamoured by western equipment. They are cosmetically alluring, but then in Iraq, the US soldiers preferred to use the AK 47 to the US rifles. Therefore, looks is not the answer. Performance in various conditions is!

    Accuracy is dependent on the skill of the firer and how comfortable with the weapon.

    Automatics are used by the Americans only because of this reason - to overcome poor marksmanship. If one fires a whole lot of ammunition, then is axiomatic at least some will hit and do the job!

    In CI and defence, one does not fire at long ranges.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
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  9. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    @Sir,
    I cant say-much, But i believe 6.8 is the answer to our problems too as we followed the 5.56 from them..
    If 6.8 turn out to be a good bullet having the range of our 5.56 and hitting power of 7.62x39mm than it can be used on every scenario..

    As per my knowledge US is very strict on marksmanship in Infantry, Also in Afghanistan every solider carry his own food & ammo with him just like us they too use mules, And yes as u said they have more air-power than IAF, also i believe we have same capability at least in the present CI zone, What i think we lack is the absence of a well coordinated replenishment strategy between IA & IAF on the field..
     
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  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I am not saying that 6.8 is not a good calibre. All I am saying is that if we keep changing the calibre, it would mean retooling not only the rifle and the LMG assembly lines, but also the ammunition assembly line.

    5.56 has hardly seen enough of service to require such a drastic change, which will cost a packet, when it does not really affect the operational efficiency. The main reason why one appears to be queasy with the 5.56 is that when compared to AKs, it requires more maintenance than the AK since the latter can be subjected to the hardiest of handling and still deliver. In fact, in one US Army article it was said that one AK dug out of the mud functioned effectively! The other reason is that we always want something better than what we already have. That is but natural but need not be justifiable given the environment.

    Every army demands and expects good marksmanship including the US Army. We believe in optimum use of ammunition and hence EK GOLI, EK DUSHMAN. However, the US Army overemphasises in ensured kill irrespective of the ammunition expended. They have rarely operated in the mountains and hence have been able to ensure a ready chain of supply of ammunition in the plains. Now that they are up in the mountains, they are finding the going difficult.

    In so far as the US tendency to overkill, this is what is the experience of the US in Vietnam:

    Prior to the onset of the buildup in Vietnam, the authorized ammunition expenditure rates (supply rates) were published in Supply Bulletin 38-26. These rates had been derived from historical data generated from World War II and the Korean conflict and modified by subsequent studies and war gaming exercises. The alarming scale at which most of these consumption rates were being exceeded in Vietnam, due to the unique environmental conditions and operational concepts, resulted in a dramatic drawdown of reserve ammunition stocks.
    Ammunition

    For U.S. Troops in Afghanistan, Supplies Are Another Battle
    Going gets tough

    Here is something one could read on the gripes of the US soldiers over the rifle they have.
    Does the Army Need a Better Battle Rifle?

    Therefore, it is not surprising that Indian soldiers what something better than what they have.

    If we were flying clear of Pakistani MANPADS in the Kargil conflict, I wonder if the IAF is being used in active combat in the CI zone in India.

    Of course, these are but my views and it need not be the holy cow.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
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  11. roach

    roach Regular Member

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    Thanks guys, that was quite the eye-opener for a noob like me.:happy_7:
     
  12. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Sir, The new caliber can be installed on present rifle also the LMG without much modifications, But yes we need to change the ammo assembly lines..

    Yes Sir, 5.56mm does require maintenance compare to AK also it is not very effective against terrorist who use hit & run tactic..
    But if that caliber can change by a universal caliber than it may prove good for soldiers also logistics for next few decades..

    Yes Sir..
    And they are adapting like us..

    As i know Brits are using M14 as their assault rifle in Afghanistan until the new caliber replace all others..
    Which make me think we are using AK until the new caliber replace all other..
     

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