Why India does not manufacture Carbines its soldiers need?

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by ghost, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. ghost

    ghost Regular Member

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    The carbine that is presently in use in Indian army was designed by George William Patchet, the Chief Designer of the Sterling Armament Company, way back in 1944 in response to a Qualitative Requirements (QR) circulated by the British General Staff in the same year. The weapon was formally introduced in the British Army as Sterling Sub Machine Gun L2A1 in 1953. It remained in service there till 1988, and Model L85 A1 was the last variant. The Indian army has been using the Sub Machine Gun 9 mm 1A1, a variant of L2A1, produced under license by the Ordnance Factories Board (OFB), since sixties.

    While the Mangalyaan may be well on its way to Mars, the case of providing our soldiers with carbines, which are primarily light weight, short barreled, automatic weapons with fewer than 100 metallic/plastic parts, is indeed very revealing with regard to our scientific prowess. A recent history of our endeavors to replace the weapon, which was designed almost seventy years ago, is a testimony of systemic inadequacies in small arms design, development and production, and failings in conduct of time bound procurement from foreign sources, who are willing to offer the new generation carbines. Chronology of events in the last decade is detailed herein with a view to facilitate understanding of our capability accretion process with regard to infrastructure creation, procurement, and design and development. It is also possibly one of the few cases where these three aspects are being pursued concurrently.

    In October 2005, the army projected an operationally urgent requirement of acquiring new generation carbines at the cost of Rupees 2,524 crores[ii]. The government accepted the necessity of acquiring 218,000 Protective carbines and 160,000 Close Quarter Battle (CQB) carbines during the acquisition plan period 2007-12. In February 2006, the Defence Acquisition Council approved induction of CQB carbines through import along with Transfer of Technology (ToT), and indigenous production of Protective carbines, as their user trials had commenced by then. In April 2006, a green field project was also sanctioned for production of CQB carbines in the country at an estimated cost of Rupees 408.01 crores[iii]. In December 2007, the foundation stone of the forty-first Ordnance Factory for manufacture of new generation carbines was laid down at Korwa in Amethi Tehsil of Sultanpur District. Rupees 120.36 crore have been spent on the factory up to March 2012 against the original sanctioned cost. Notwithstanding the operation urgency, approvals, trials, inaugurations and expenditure on infrastructure, the factory doesn’t have a carbine design which it can produce. It can be safely said that our troops will continue to use the 1944 model carbine for a few more years.

    Infrastructure Creation. The CAG in its audit report of 2010-11 observed that the sanction of the forty-first ordnance factory was ill-conceived for a variety of reasons. The factory’s construction had commenced without any knowledge of the intended product’s design. The Ordnance Factory Korwa was to be completed by 2010 but even till then, neither the CQB carbine was selected and nor the indigenous Protective carbine had qualified in user trials. The CAG also observed that the factory was being accommodated in 34 acres land of HAL at Korwa, against the requirement of 60 acres. The CAG questioned site selection, since 118 acres of surplus land and residential buildings were available at Field Gun Factory, Kanpur. Similarly, Ordnance Factory Tiruchirapalli has 1,300 acres of surplus land. The OFB decided to set up a new factory when three of its small arms factories at Tiruchirapalli, Kanpur and Ishapore near Kolkata operate at less than half their capacity[iv]. The CAG in its report opined that the project needs to be reviewed urgently by the Ministry of Defence and a pragmatic decision taken by looking into the cost and benefits of setting up a new factory vis a vis the augmentation of the facility in any of the existing ordnance factories.

    Procurement of CQB carbine. Post issue of General Staff Qualitative Requirement in 2005, the RFP for procurement of CQB carbine along with ToT was first issued in April 2007, and subsequently withdrawn in Dec 2007. A fresh RFP was later issued in April 2008, with specific mention of “Less the TOT for passive night sight”, which was also withdrawn in June 2009 on account of inadequate competition and since it did not meet user’s requirement. After a lapse of nine years and more than a couple of RFPs, the army has just reached the confirmatory trials stage[v]. Assuming that the trials are completed expeditiously, the delivery of carbines and ToT can take place only after the commercial bids are opened, commercial negotiations are completed with the L1 bidder and a comprehensive contract is concluded. Even by the most optimistic estimates, receipt of the carbines by the combat units is at the least two years away, and that too, only if everything goes well. Commencement of production at Ordnance Factory Korwa after absorbing the transferred technology will be much further away. The almost ready factory at Korwa in all probability will remain unutilized for a very long time.

    Indigenous development of the Protective carbine. Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and Small Arms Factory Kanpur (SAF) had earlier attempted to develop and produce 5.56 mm INSAS Carbine. However on account of repeated failures, Army had to foreclose the requirement in January 2000 after a lapse of 13 years and expenditure of Rupees 22.18 crore[vi]. This attempt was followed by development of OFB's Amough, a 5.56 mm carbine that superficially resembled an AK-47, but was rejected by the army several times between 2006 and 2009. The DRDO-designed 5.56 mm modern sub machine carbine (MSMC) was also found unfit for induction. The trial team observed that there was a definite and sharp decline in reliability performance, manufacturing, workmanship standards and material appropriateness. The weapons were not fit for induction into service. The team recommended that the development agencies should undertake de-novo approach breaking free from the current unsuccessful design[vii]. In February 2009, the OFB and DRDO decided to develop and produce the Protective Carbine jointly. The latest attempt at development is the Joint Venture Protective Carbine (JVPC), which has had some success in trials last year[viii].

    The case more than anything brings out the need to reflect on our nation’s capability to address the most basic requirements of the armed forces. Many issues come to fore on analysis of the case.

    Firstly and foremost, establishing of defence industries needs to be done with the singular purpose of capability accretion. It is in our national interest that such projects are not looked at only as avenues of job creation/boosting of local economy. The Ministry of Defence needs to draw very pragmatic inferences from its experience in establishing of ordnance factories at Nalanda and Korwa. Forty-first ordnance factory at Korwa should be the last ordnance factory ever sanctioned. The country doesn’t need any more.
    Secondly, we still need to go some distance in training acquisition staff to draft and frame RFPs and SQRs for even technologically simple products. Institutionalised training in acquisition is an immediate need requiring attention at the highest levels. At the service headquarters level there is need to collate such case studies which can be very helpful in providing exposure to staff officers.
    Thirdly, it’s time we realize that the pace of processing of the acquisition cases is certainly one of the chief causes of failure to acquire. Time-crashing should be the major agenda when the DPP is revised next.
    Fourthly, the decision makers need to internalise that for indigenous development to succeed it is very important that the user, development agency and the production agencies work together. An independent venture of either of the agencies has and will never produce any worthwhile result. There is a need for systemic and strategic coordination between entities that comprise the defence supply chain.
    Fifthly, the government of the day needs to monitor on a regular basis, progress in meeting the basic requirements of troops, for whom such wants are a matter of life and death. Very loud alarm bells should ring somewhere, if the system is repeatedly failing to replace the personal weapon of 400,000 troops and they continue to depend on a 1944 designed weapon.
    Lastly, but not the least, the Indian scientific community should draw some inspiration form the fact that George William Patchet responded to the British General Staff’s Qualitative Requirements within an year, in 1944.


    Why India does not manufacture Carbines its soldiers need? - Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS)
     
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  3. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

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    I m sure there is an Insas Carbine and we also have MSMC.
     
  4. Rushil51

    Rushil51 Regular Member

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    Read the article. It says both failed tests.
     
  5. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

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    but MSMC had succesful user trials.
     
  6. Rushil51

    Rushil51 Regular Member

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    Read the article.
     
  7. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

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    thats what i want to tell you , INSAS carbine was dropped by army, and the MSMC news is quoted to be of 2009. As of 2014 MSMC has cleared user trials and is waiting for the Order/induction (this is mentioned in this forum itself).
     
  8. Rushil51

    Rushil51 Regular Member

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    Don't think article will be quoting news from 2009,it was written on 26 Aug 2014. Anyways there is quite confusion regarding the MSMC trials. They were supposed to be over by Aug 2013 and ready for induction by Jan 2014(Not sure,read somewhere).
     
  9. Hari Sud

    Hari Sud Senior Member Senior Member

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    Army's behaviour from 1999 to 2013 was so corrupt that they would nit pick on any thing local. They favoured imports. That is where money was. Nobody got its armament perfect on the first try out. They have been making guns, improving them, remaking them until these were excellent. The Indian Army wished perfection on first attempt. Very disappointing, but true. Local makers never had a chance.
     
  10. Twinblade

    Twinblade Senior Member Senior Member

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    Insas carbine was a failure.

    MSMC is going for trials again, ARDE is building new prototypes for new set of trials.

    Sorry, but you are wrong. Dead wrong. Local designers were given 20 years of chances to fix the rifle. INSAS itself has 5 design iterations to make it somewhat less of a disaster. Somehow, the failure of domestic designers to come up with a decent set of small arms = army is corrupt. INSAS project was supposed to deliver a carbine, rifle and LMG with interchangeable parts to reduce the Army's logistics burden. The carbine failed rather spectacularly with excessive flash and recoil issues. The total burn out point of the ammunition always came outside the barrel, partly due to burn profile of 5.56 INSAS (designed for long range engagement in rifle and LMG) and partly because our designers could not design a decent carbine.

    The INSAS carbine was abandoned then and there. ARDE, the designer, then washed its hands off INSAS and kicked the ball in OFB's court, who went ahead and made it a grand mess that it is today. Excalibur and Kalantak came out of OFB's stables, not ARDE's. Excalibur was just a shortened barrel version of INSAS with a newer furniture and a higher price tag, Kalantak was an attempt to fix the burn out issues of ammunition in INSAS and a rather weird one.
     
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  11. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    INSAS Carbine may or may not have been a failure (subject to debate), but IA could have stuck to its Sterlings, till the issues were sorted out. I find it hard to believe that we have to import from outside.

    I wouldn't get into a debate on the INSAS Carbine, as you might be correct, but you comment on the INSAS Rifle, and disaster, (emboldened), Sir, is rhetorical, and far from the reality.
     
  12. ghost

    ghost Regular Member

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    Sir ,

    A bit off topic,if i am not wrong u r ex army and now residing in US.So you must have experience on both weapon system m16/M4 and INSAS .Which fairs better as per you.:namaste:
     
  13. Twinblade

    Twinblade Senior Member Senior Member

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    Insas Carbine project was dropped by ARDE circa 2002-2003. The army is totally justified in going for a new carbine in 2014 having persisted with Sterlings so long.

    Oh yes, it's a disaster. You take a decent design and you make a shoddy product out of it with abhorrent quality checks, neglectful designer and a user who is delivered a product so abysmally put together that they have to perform QC checks of their own to be able to weed out the bad ones and send them to training schools, then you have a disaster in your hands. Let's hope MCIWS doesn't go down the same path as INSAS and for once we have a decently designed and manufactured Carbine/Rifle/LMG.
     
  14. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I am not a soldier, and never was. :)

    I have never shot the INSAS.

    I have shot several other rifles, carbines, and submachineguns.

    My sources on the INSAS are three: (1) the opinion of Gen. V. K. Singh, (2) opinion of @Kunal Biswas, and (3) and an individual I know personally, who used to make INSAS rifles.

    The INSAS AR and LMG have a far better design maturity life-cycle than the M-16. How did you come to the conclusion it is a shoddy product? Quality checks are very stringent, and yes, it does not have the same standards as that of a fashion pageant (the finish do not look good), but the quality checks as to functionality and accuracy is top notch. There was a problem with the magazines, but blame Nilkamal for that.

    I am sorry to say, but much of what you are stating about INSAS AR/LMG is an opinion.
     
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  15. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

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    thanks for the insight, we always expect seniors to come and clarify the things down.
     
  16. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    1. MSMC cleared user trails, Its going for more i assume ..

    2. Amogh is operational in Navy as well as in Paramilitary ..

    3. Indian Army put out tender for Carbine from International firms ..

    -------------

    Just like Rifle this Carbine tender is also another Scam ..
     
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  17. Twinblade

    Twinblade Senior Member Senior Member

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    Hardly. There is no 5.56x45 carbine in works (maybe in MCIWS family) and last I checked the Army needed them 20 years back along with INSAS. If in so many years the local industry and designers cannot supply them a carbine that uses the same ammunition as the standard issue rifle, they are justified to go in for purchase, much more than rifles. However the rifle and carbine tender should have been a tie-in, ie both should be selected from a common family (Galil, ARX 160) with interchangeable parts.
     
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  18. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Kalantak is still a product of OFB, The reason it was called a fail is because it is said it produce to much of recoil as an AR which is something same case as M4 carbine and M16 AR ..

    The result is 5.56x30mm carbine like MSMC and Amogh ..

     
  19. ersakthivel

    ersakthivel Senior Member Senior Member

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    Saurav Jha's Blog : Putting the Indian Army's desire to import assault rifles in perspective





     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
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  20. ghost

    ghost Regular Member

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    How the next gen rifle over ride reliability ?Since IA is subjecting them to harsh trials in "Indian conditions",how is he so sure ,that galil ace,arx 160 and cz 807 does not offer reliability ?When these rifle have created a reputation world over."cost considerations" Quality and technology comes at a price,plus add the cost of tot,factory setup and other cost that may be included.It's IA money and they better know when and how to spend it,as they will be the end user of it and soldiers life depend on it.

    India aims to be a super power, so it makes sense if we compete with big nations,not some rag tag terrorist.And what ----ed up logic is this ,that if terrorist are using basic weapons we should also not upgrade are weapon ,until they do.A multi caliber weapon will save as the cost of logistics ,by using one platform for different purpose, a soldier will need minimum training to adopt to different platform as the basic platform would remain the same.A soldier will b e able to fire different caliber with training on the same weapon platform instead of going under training for different weapon system like insas and ak .

    What happened to "ek goli ek dushman" ,I will not indulge further in right kind of bullet for war debate, but as per me soldiers like 7.62 round more in combat,only downside being it's accuracy and kick ,but these seem to be resolved in modern ar.A multicaliber AR will further resolve this.

    Prove it,or he just made that out of thin air.Indian special forces have adopted m4 ,which has a rather bad reputation for reliability, when compared to these two system ,which are renowned for their reliability world over.

    Beretta was looking forward to a new beginning with the Indian defence ministry after the “barrel bulge” controversy was amicably resolved after all the 80 MX-4 Storm sub-machine guns—suspected to have the defect—were completely replaced with new ones. The 80 MX-4 weapons were a part of a total of the 38,000 delivered to the Border Security Force in May 2012.

    ‘barrel bulge’ occurs commonly due to defects in the ammunition, not in the weapons,” explained the spokesperson. “Especially in an automatic rifle, which has micro grooves inside the barrel, a small defect in the cartridge can lead to the bullet getting stuck within. But as it is a machine gun, the following bullet rams into the stuck one at high velocity and displaces it. But this causes the barrel to bulge a little.

    Jawans may soon have top-class machine guns | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

    Speaking to Deccan Herald, a BSF officer, requesting anonymity said: “Compared to what we were using, the new weapon is quite advanced and has a lot of features that reduce the dead time.”

    The officer, who was at the latest edition of Aero India said that his unit has used the Italian weapon and that it was better and way more efficient than what they had been using.

    BSF turning ambidextrous with MX-4 storm rifles

    About last para ,I have decide not to say anything about insas .Since its going to be changed in near future .

    But few things about OFB.
    The OFB chairman said that the Kalantak Micro Assault Rifle would be the best in the class and become the next generation gun of the foot soldier.

    PIB Press Release

    Kalantak Micro Assault Rifle is a gas operated automatic, air cooled, folding butt Rifle. It is a very power full, light weight & compact weapon for CQB & Personnel Defence Weapon Role. The weapon uses the same ammunition (5.56x45mm) as used in Rifle/ LMG, thus reducing the logistic problems in having different kind of ammunitions for different role of weapons. It’s design and mechanism is simple and having the capability to accommodate the various modern optical sights like Red Dot Sight, Holographic, MARS etc, available internationally in the market. The weapon is having much lesser recoil and muzzle jump than any of the Assault Rifles, and therefore it is having more hitting probability in auto mode of firing than any other Assault Rifles. Due consideration has been given for Reliability, Ergonomics and Aesthetics in designing of the Weapon. The furniture items will be subjected to continual improvement from human engineering point of view.

    Ordnance Factory Board
    This is as per OFB offical website,but as i have heard that kalantak was rejected due to excessive recoil.This means OFB lies.

    You become best when the world acknowledge that you are best,not by blowing your own trumpet.
     
  21. ghost

    ghost Regular Member

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    While going through this article Saurav Jha's Blog : Putting the Indian Army's desire to import assault rifles in perspectiveI came across some interesting comment about drdo and Insas @Kunal Biswas Sir,your thoughts.
     
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