http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...r-wound-Army-debates/articleshow/51918370.cms Should it be a rifle that "kills" the enemy soldier or terrorist? Or, should it merely "wound"? With the decade-long hunt for a new-generation assault rifle still nowhere near finalization, the Army's top generals will discuss this basic but critical weapon for infantry soldiers next week. With the mega Rs 4,850 crore project for assault rifles with interchangeable barrels for conventional warfare as well as counterinsurgency operations being scrapped last year, the Army commanders' conference from April 25 to 30 will chalk out the roadmap ahead. "It will focus on whether the Army should go in for a 5.56mm rifle, which generally incapacitates enemy soldiers, or a 7.62mm rifle that kills. The rifle calibre, range and desired weight are all issues that need to be resolved before new technical parameters or GSQRs (general staff qualitative requirements) are finalized for the fresh procurement case," said a source. The debate is about the "quantum of lethality" required. As per the Army's experience, the 5.56mm rifle is considered better for conventional war since it generally injures an enemy soldier, which ties down at least two of his colleagues to carry him as well as hits general morale in the opposing force. The 7.62mm rifle is preferred for counter-insurgency since the aim is to kill a terrorist at the first instance before he can unleash mayhem. "There are different arguments for each side. The lethality, of course, also depends on where a bullet hits," said an officer. "The fact remains that all soldiers prefer the rugged 7.62mm AK-47s, which also have a higher rate of fire, than the indigenous 5.56mm INSAS (Indian small arms system) rifles for counterterrorism in J&K," he added. But the Army's "over-ambitious" experiment to induct rifles with interchangeable barrels, with a 5.56 x 45mm primary barrel for conventional warfare and a 7.62 x 39mm secondary one for counter-terrorism, failed miserably. As first reported by TOI in May last year, the proposed mega project was junked since the rifles on offer by armament firms like Colt (US), Beretta (Italy), Ceska (Czech Republic) and Israel Weapon Industries were not found suitable and cost-effective after extensive trials. The jury is still out. The Army, on its part, wants a rifle that weighs around 3.5kg and has an effective range of almost 1 km, apart from being equipped with advanced night-vision devices, holographic reflex sights, laser designators, detachable under-barrel grenade launchers and the like.