New Assault Rifles for Indian Army

Which Contender`s Rifle has more chances of winning than others?


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vampyrbladez

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The delay gets longer.
By October AFAIK.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.co...costing-panel-set-up/articleshow/76347533.cms

https://www.thehindu.com/news/natio...for-3-day-visit-to-russia/article31887212.ece
 

Aaj ka hero

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Can't help but look how Russians and Americans are going for their homemade design with not only testing but limited induction too of their own rifles with the GOAL of MASS INDUCTION of their rifles, while here testing and testing only goes on.

I urge Indian Army induction team and director general of procurement to go and right now see their in USA and RUSSIA about how to make a raw weapon a perfect weapon.

They can learn many things.
 

WolfPack86

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IWI’s New Assault Rifles – ARAD and CARMEL to be Manufactured in India soon
The newly developed assault rifles ARAD and CARMEL by IWI will foray into the Indian market soon. Israel Weapon Industries joint venture partner PLR Systems is set to manufacture the new weapons developed in Israel

The joint venture between Israeli company IWI and Indian company PLR Systems is set to manufacture the new weapons developed in Israel. In 2017, Indian conglomerate PLR Systems and its JV Partner, Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) inaugurated India’s first private sector small arms manufacturing plant at Malanpur in Madhya Pradesh. The joint venture company, PLR Systems is manufacturing small arms for the Indian Defence Forces as well as for export. The plant is currently manufacturing the IWI TAVOR 7.62×51 assault rifle.


The Israeli company in recent years developed two new assault rifles – the Arad and the Carmel.


The Israeli company says that the ARAD is designed for Infantry use, special units. The rifle can be changed easily to shoot two different caliber bullets – 5.56 and 300 BLK.


IWI ARAD is equipped with a picatinny rail to enable the use of a variety of optics and other attachments. The picatinny rail is an integral part of the upper receiver of the rifle. In addition, M-LOK rails at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions along the hand guard. It includes a telescopic butt stock which allows the users to adjust the length individually for their particular needs.


According to IWI, the ARAD is designed to address the needs of Special Forces as well as the various infantry forces. It includes several advanced features that enable operational flexibility. Fully ambidextrous, the rifle consists of a short-stroke gas piston with a gas regulator in two or 3 positions, which allows constant operation in all environmental conditions. A two-step enhanced trigger ensures both comfort and shooting accuracy.


ARAD’s additional features include a hard-anodized monolithic aluminium MIL-STD 1913 rail in the upper receiver. The lightweight ARAD, weighing only 2.85 kg, is available with barrel lengths of 292mm (11.5”) and 368mm (14.5”) and will soon be offered with barrel lengths of 419 mm (16.5″) and 508 mm (20″). The 300 BLK version comes with a 9.5 “barrel. The ARAD will also soon be available in additional calibers.


The company has also developed the CARMEL ‒ a multi-purpose, modular, 5.56X45mm caliber assault rifle for modern warfare, ideal for maneuvers between different combat zones and for extended combat duration ‒ which has been supplied to many customers around the world.


The company says that the CARMEL is designed for minimum operator and armorer level maintenance. The CARMEL can be fired with folded stock. It has adjustable cheek rest.


The CARMEL is a fully ambidextrous weapon: Safety Lever, Magazine Release, Bolt Catch, non-reciprocating charging handle that can be easily changed from side to side within seconds by the user. It also has an enlarged trigger guard for easier access for glove use.


The new rifles are offered now to many armed forces and according to the Israeli company the Indian plant can manufacture both.


– The author is an Israel-based freelance writer. He has served in Israel Defense Forces.
 

WolfPack86

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Army to place order for 72,000 more Sig716 assault rifles from US
Even as India counters Chinese aggression on the border, the Army is going to place an order for 72,000 more Sig 716 assault rifles from the United States.

"We are going to place orders for 72,000 more of these assault rifles after receiving the first lot of equal number of these guns from America," Army sources told India Today.

The advanced American assault rifles have been acquired in a bid to fight terrorism and for carrying out major operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Indian Army received the first batch of American SiG Sauer assault rifles last year in December.

The first lot of 10,000 SiG 716 assault rifles arrived in India on December 10. The Indian Army is looking to move to a rifle that fires a larger, more powerful rifle cartridge than the 5.56x45mm intermediate cartridge used by the Insas. The SIG716 uses the more powerful 7.62x51mm cartridge.

Earlier, India had signed a Rs 700 crore deal to buy 72,000 of these rifles from the US under fast track procedures.

The induction of these new assault rifles with the troops in operation will help them to operate more effectively in engagements with the terrorists in Pakistan and PoK.
 

WolfPack86

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Indian Army could get carbines from UAE soon, deal in final stages of confirmation
New Delhi: If all goes well, the Indian Army could finally get its hands on new close quarter battle (CQB) carbines, manufactured by a UAE firm, for immediate operational requirements. The proposal has been in the works since 2017.


The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) could soon decide on the signing of the contract with the UAE firm, Caracal International, which finished as ‘L-1’ or the lowest bidder in September 2018 for a contract that was supposed to be fast tracked, defence sources said.


This is the first time that Indian forces will start using a weapon from the UAE, which itself is one of the largest importers of defence equipment.



When Caracal was shortlisted in 2018, it was seen as more of a diplomatic deal to keep UAE happy rather than a pure military decision.


The carbines will replace the outdated and ageing 9mm British Sterling 1A1 sub machine guns that are in service.




After years of attempts to replace them, the Army had in 2017 decided to opt for Fast Track Procurement (FTP) of 93,895 new carbines against an overall demand of 3.5 lakh such weapons.


The rest was supposed to be under the “Buy and Make” category. The Indian private small arms industry has already come out with carbines of its own or started manufacturing them domestically with transfer of technology from abroad.

Past issues with contract

The contract for the Caracal’s CAR 816 had run into rough weather over a number of issues including costs and complaints from other bidders.


The delay in the FTP process can be judged from the fact that the delivery of 72,400 American SiG 716 G2 battle rifles, selected as the same time as Caracal in 2018, has been completed and the Indian Army is moving ahead with order for another 72,000 such rifles to arm its frontline troops.


The CQB Carbines, with short barrel, are meant for operations in urban settings and room interventions, especially in counter terrorism operations like in Jammu and Kashmir.


The carbines are also meant for the tank crews or those operating in confined spaces.

History of Army’s quest for new CQB carbines

Efforts to acquire the CQB carbines since 2008 have not materialised as the carbines of state-owned DRDO and OFB had failed to meet Army requirements.


A global tender for procurement of 44,618 CQB Carbines was issued in 2011 wherein four companies — Israel’s IWI, Italian Beretta and American firms Colt and Sig Sauer participated.



However, only IWI qualified as the other contenders could not meet the qualitative requirements pertaining to night vision mounting system, sources said.


But the Ministry of Defence did not procure the carbines form IWI saying it had become a single vendor case, which is not allowed as per procurement manual.


In 2017, a global Request for Information (RFI) was issued for the purchase of 2 lakh carbines while a separate process was rolled out to procure 93,895 under FTP.


It is estimated that the overall demand would be over 5 lakh if one takes into account the armed forces, the central armed police forces and the state police forces.


The request for proposal (RFP) was expected within a year of issuing RFI, which is still awaited.
 

WolfPack86

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Rifles, missiles, ammunition, drones — armed forces on shopping spree amid LAC tensions
New Delhi: A special session of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) Wednesday empowered the armed forces to go ahead with Rs 300 crore worth of capital acquisitions to meet emergent operational requirements, even as the military has been on a shopping spree over the past few weeks.


The move, which comes amid tensions between India and China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), gives the armed forces unprecedented emergency powers under the capital budget, which is for purchases of new equipment and systems. It is expected to ease some of the bottlenecks that mar defence acquisitions.


So far, the forces have, from time to time, been given a Rs 500-crore limit per project under the revenue head, which deals with reordering of existing systems and ammunition. This power, for example, was allowed after the 2016 Uri attack, and in June this year in light of the LAC situation.



Procurements under the capital budget are a long-drawn process that requires multiple trials and long procedures even if fast-tracked.


Announcing the new provision, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said it will shrink procurement timelines, ensure speedy placement of orders, and start deliveries within one year.

Several procurements on the horizon

Amid the ongoing tensions with China, the Indian military has been on a shopping spree, with a number of projects being pushed under the emergency procurement provision. These include assault rifles, anti-tank guided missiles, ammunition, high-altitude clothing, bombs, drones, etc.

Sources said the armed forces are already in the midst of pursuing different manner of procurements from the US, Russia, Israel, France and some other countries.



Asked how much money is being spent in these fast-tracked emergency purchases, sources said it was easily over $1 billion (Rs 7,513 crore).


The procurements — some of which have been inked while others are in the final stages — included armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) ammunition fired by the T-72 and T-90 main battle tanks, additional Heron drones, loitering munition, Spice Bombs, and Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPADS).


The procurement of 72,000 additional SiG 716 battle rifles has also been pushed ahead keeping the situation at the LAC in mind, sources said.


Each of the three services has prepared a list of items that they are looking to procure under the emergency clause. Sources said Russia, France and Israel have already assured timely delivery of items.


France had even diverted missiles meant for its own force to India to enable faster deployment of the Rafale fighters jets, which will arrive in India later this month.
 

WolfPack86

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Indian Army Project For AK-203 Stalled Due to High Prices From OFB
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a new facility at the Ordnance Factory Board complex in Amethi’s Korwa in March 2019 for the manufacturing of around seven lakh AK-203 rifles, it seemed the Indian Army’s decades long plan to upgrade the capabilities of its infantry units with a modern rifle and replace the troubled in-service INSAS had finally fructified.


Moscow and New Delhi had signed an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) to build the AK-203 in February 2019. The first AK-203 rifles for the Indian Army, reports said back then, were to roll off the production line in 2019. But over a year later, the India-Russia joint venture facility is yet to start production, and the situation is unlikely to get better anytime soon.


The main sticking point has been the offer price for the rifles. Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited, the joint-venture between India’s Ordnance Factory Board, Russia’s Kalashnikov Concern and Rosoboronexport, the Russian government agency for military exports, have failed to agree on an offer price.


When the joint venture submitted its techno-commercial bid in February 2020, after multiple delays, “it quoted a price much higher than the benchmark price”. In June 2020, after the joint venture quoted “unreasonable and unacceptable” price, the Ministry of Defence was forced to appoint a costing committee.


Price negotiations for this deal are more complex than many others that India has signed with Russia in the recent past because it not only involves the transfer of technology and manufacturing of the rifle in India but also the objective of higher indigenisation, as envisioned under the Make in India programme.

Manufacturing a foreign weapon system in India has many positives. Among other things, it helps in the introduction of new technology and the development of infrastructure and capabilities in the Indian military-industrial complex.


Price, at least in the short term, is not one of these. In fact, manufacturing of a foreign weapon system in India increases the cost in the short term because it involves setting up of a new production line and maintenance workshops in the country, and training of workforce.


Add to this the cost of indigenisation. Under the IGA signed by India and Russia for the manufacturing of AK-203s, the indigenous content of the rifles has to be progressively increased to 100 per cent. The agreement envisions that all rifles, beyond the first 120,000, will have 100 per cent indigenous content.



Indigenisation of a weapon system produces jobs, capabilities and infrastructure in the local defence industry as contracts for various subsystems go to Indian manufacturers instead of foreign vendors, but does not necessarily decrease the cost of the system for the end user. In many cases, the cost increases.


Reports say that the cost of arms manufactured in India is as much as 25 to 50 per cent higher than imported items in the initial stages.


The cost of setting up a new production line to manufacture a weapon system in India and indigenising it can only be lowered if it is produced in large numbers, as economies of scale kicks in.


“..at initial stages, the indigenous procurements come substantially more expensive, till the development and capital costs get amortised and economies of scale begin to emerge. It is for this reason that even the most developed nations, indigenise defence systems selectively,” Lieutenant General Anil Ahuja (Retd), a former Corps Commander and Deputy Chief for Policy Planning and Force Development at the Headquarters of the Integrated Defence Staff wrote recently in the Economic Times.


This is why the government decided to buy Rafale fighters off the shelf when the number was brought down to 36 from over 100. Manufacturing 36 Rafales in India would have increased the cost of the fighter further.


AK-203s are to be built in large numbers, and reports say that the India-Russia joint venture will also look for opportunities to export the rifle. This will bring down the cost of production and indigenisation of the rifle in the long run.


Now, in order to make cost negotiations easier, the Ministry of Defence has asked the India-Russia joint venture to submit separate quotes for the first 1.2 lakh rifles and the remaining 5.5 lakh guns.

For immediate relief, the Indian Army is all set to place its second order for 72,000 US-built SIG716 rifles using the financial powers granted it.


The Army had placed the first order for 72,400 of these rifles in February 2019 under the fast-track programme at a cost of around Rs 700 crore and started receiving its first pieces under this deal in December 2019. The maker of the rifle, Sig Sauer Inc, will complete the delivery by the end of this year.


The Army is currently equipping soldiers involved in counter-interagency with SIG716 rifles, while the wider requirement of assault rifles for regular infantry units will be met with the procurement of AK-203s.
 

WolfPack86

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Wait for the CQBs for the Indian Army to get longer
The Indian Army has to wait a bit longer for getting 93,895 close-quarter-battle carbines (CQB) a deal which is worth $ 553.33 million. The deal which has been put on Fast Track Procurement (FTP) process is awaiting approval from the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), which is now likely to meet in August. “The decision on the procurement from the UAE based Company was expected to be taken at the DAC meeting which took place in July. However, it did not make it to agenda for that meeting. Also, the Chief of Defence Services Gen Bipin Rawat wanted to know more about the urgency for procuring CQB. A top Infantry officer has made a presentation to the CDS last week on the urgent requirement of the CQBs and its importance for troops deployed in the Valley,” top sources confirmed to Financial Express Online.

With the border tensions along the Line of Actual Control between India and China and the constant terrorist attacks from Pakistan side, has made the Indian Army ensure that the procurement of CQBs for the troops is expedited. The Indian Army was looking for the CQBs to modernize its infantry arm. So far the UAE based company has not received the contract. Though there is no requirement for a DAC approval as it is coming through FTP route, the UAE company is stuck in procedural requirements.

Meanwhile …
European Company Thales with Indian company Bharat Forge has written to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that they are willing to supply the CQBs at the price being offered by the UAE based company Caracal.

The Story So Far
As has been reported by Financial Express Online earlier, it has been more than 16 months since the UAE based Caracal Company after extensive trials was declared L1 for$ 553.33 million procurement.

An Oversight Committee which was tasked to submit its report on the issues raised by other companies who failed during trials, has done so.

The UAE based Caracal which was declared L1 has already and has been through the already been through the Commercial Negotiating Committee (CNC), and has completed the Acceptance Test Procedure report, and has submitted the documents required under the RfP.

While the company claims to be NATO compliant, the trials for the Indian requirement were extensively and carried out not only here in the country but outside as well in different terrains with Indian ammunition.

The deal has to happen through the FTP route which means that from the time the order is placed within one year the deliveries need to start.

Who all bid for this order?
The companies who failed to make the cut after extensive trials registered their complaints with the MoD against the UAE based company which was declared L1. To address these concerns raised by the South Korean Company S&T Motiv, and European Company Thales, a nine-member committee headed by an Indian Army Brigadier was set up.

Since the deal expected to be inked with the UAE Company is for 93,895 CQBs, concerns were also raised by others about its ability to supply within one year.
.
 

WolfPack86

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Wait for the CQBs for the Indian Army to get longer
The Indian Army has to wait a bit longer for getting 93,895 close-quarter-battle carbines (CQB) a deal which is worth $ 553.33 million. The deal which has been put on Fast Track Procurement (FTP) process is awaiting approval from the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), which is now likely to meet in August.

“The decision on the procurement from the UAE based Company was expected to be taken at the DAC meeting which took place in July. However, it did not make it to agenda for that meeting. Also, the Chief of Defence Services Gen Bipin Rawat wanted to know more about the urgency for procuring CQB. A top Infantry officer has made a presentation to the CDS last week on the urgent requirement of the CQBs and its importance for troops deployed in the Valley,” top sources confirmed to Financial Express Online.

With the border tensions along the Line of Actual Control between India and China and the constant terrorist attacks from Pakistan side, has made the Indian Army ensure that the procurement of CQBs for the troops is expedited. The Indian Army was looking for the CQBs to modernize its infantry arm. So far the UAE based company has not received the contract. Though there is no requirement for a DAC approval as it is coming through FTP route, the UAE company is stuck in procedural requirements.


Meanwhile …

European Company Thales with Indian company Bharat Forge has written to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that they are willing to supply the CQBs at the price being offered by the UAE based company Caracal.

The Story So Far

As has been reported by Financial Express Online earlier, it has been more than 16 months since the UAE based Caracal Company after extensive trials was declared L1 for$ 553.33 million procurement.

An Oversight Committee which was tasked to submit its report on the issues raised by other companies who failed during trials, has done so.

The UAE based Caracal which was declared L1 has already and has been through the already been through the Commercial Negotiating Committee (CNC), and has completed the Acceptance Test Procedure report, and has submitted the documents required under the RfP.

While the company claims to be NATO compliant, the trials for the Indian requirement were extensively and carried out not only here in the country but outside as well in different terrains with Indian ammunition.

The deal has to happen through the FTP route which means that from the time the order is placed within one year the deliveries need to start.

Who all bid for this order?

The companies who failed to make the cut after extensive trials registered their complaints with the MoD against the UAE based company which was declared L1. To address these concerns raised by the South Korean Company S&T Motiv, and European Company Thales, a nine-member committee headed by an Indian Army Brigadier was set up.

Since the deal expected to be inked with the UAE Company is for 93,895 CQBs, concerns were also raised by others about its ability to supply within one year.
 

WolfPack86

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WAIT FOR THE CQBS FOR THE INDIAN ARMY TO GET LONGER
The Indian Army has to wait a bit longer for getting 93,895 close-quarter-battle carbines (CQB) a deal which is worth $ 553.33 million. The deal which has been put on Fast Track Procurement (FTP) process is awaiting approval from the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), which is now likely to meet in August. “The decision on the procurement from the UAE based Company was expected to be taken at the DAC meeting which took place in July. However, it did not make it to agenda for that meeting. Also, the Chief of Defence Services Gen Bipin Rawat wanted to know more about the urgency for procuring CQB. A top Infantry officer has made a presentation to the CDS last week on the urgent requirement of the CQBs and its importance for troops deployed in the Valley,” top sources confirmed to Financial Express Online.

With the border tensions along the Line of Actual Control between India and China and the constant terrorist attacks from Pakistan side, has made the Indian Army ensure that the procurement of CQBs for the troops is expedited. The Indian Army was looking for the CQBs to modernize its infantry arm. So far the UAE based company has not received the contract. Though there is no requirement for a DAC approval as it is coming through FTP route, the UAE company is stuck in procedural requirements.

Meanwhile …

European Company Thales with Indian company Bharat Forge has written to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that they are willing to supply the CQBs at the price being offered by the UAE based company Caracal.

The Story So Far

As has been reported by Financial Express Online earlier, it has been more than 16 months since the UAE based Caracal Company after extensive trials was declared L1 for$ 553.33 million procurement.

An Oversight Committee which was tasked to submit its report on the issues raised by other companies who failed during trials, has done so.

The UAE based Caracal which was declared L1 has already and has been through the already been through the Commercial Negotiating Committee (CNC), and has completed the Acceptance Test Procedure report, and has submitted the documents required under the RfP.

While the company claims to be NATO compliant, the trials for the Indian requirement were extensively and carried out not only here in the country but outside as well in different terrains with Indian ammunition.

The deal has to happen through the FTP route which means that from the time the order is placed within one year the deliveries need to start.

Who All Bid For This Order?

The companies who failed to make the cut after extensive trials registered their complaints with the MoD against the UAE based company which was declared L1. To address these concerns raised by the South Korean Company S&T Motiv, and European Company Thales, a nine-member committee headed by an Indian Army Brigadier was set up.

Since the deal expected to be inked with the UAE Company is for 93,895 CQBs, concerns were also raised by others about its ability to supply within one year.
 

WolfPack86

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Indian Defence Updates : 300 Light Tank Order,ELM-2052 AESA Test,Replace CAR816 With P72 SSS Defence
 

samsaptaka

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IWI’s New Assault Rifles – ARAD and CARMEL to be Manufactured in India soon
Absolutely hate these kind of headlines ! As per our esteemed media personnel EVERYTHING under the sun will be acquired SOON by IA !!
I think there is a hidden meaning for 'soon' which apparently our journalists and babus interpret in opposite ways.
These kind of 'soon' headlines actually mean they will either never be bought by IA or will be anything but 'soon' :facepalm:
 

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Atmanirbhar' India's Quest for Army Rifles Underlines Confusion in Procurement Policy
Chandigarh: The recently projected import of 72,400 US-made assault rifles for the Indian Army as an emergency purchase – made in response to the ongoing military face-off with China – best illustrates all that is inefficient, deficient and confused in the country’s military equipping and procurement procedures and policies.

It also explains the reason behind the services’ continually deferred modernisation, and the inability – or unwillingness – of civil and military officials in acknowledging that the six-year-old ‘Make in India’ initiative to reduce imported materiel dependency, has badly faltered.

Regrettably, ‘Make in India’ appears to be a slogan that is repeatedly regurgitated to create the impression that some new impetus is being provided to ‘atmanirbharta‘ or self sufficiency.

This stark reality became evident, even amongst diehard loyalists, by the Modi government’s knee-jerk reaction to the Chinese standoff in Ladakh in fast-tracking the pending import of assorted platforms and defence equipment, to plug long-pending gaps in India’s flailing military capability.

This extensive procurement list includes 33 Russian combat aircraft, light tanks (possibly Russian), an air defence system and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Israel and 72,400 additional SIG916 7.62x51mm assault rifles from USA’s Sig Sauer. The last is projected as a repeat order, following the earlier $70-72 million contract for an equal number of rifles, that was inked in February 2019.

Assorted missiles, precision guided munitions for 155mm howitzers from the US and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) from Israel comprise some of the other anticipated imports to seemingly counter the challenge posed by China’s military along the line of actual control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.

The paradox, however, is that almost all this materiel – barring possibly ammunition and missiles – will almost certainly not be delivered before the next 2-3 years. The earliest that the first of the 33 fighters, for instance – 21 Fulcrum MiG-29s and 12 Sukhoi Flanker Su-30MKIs to be licence-built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited – can be provided, is 2023-24.

Extended price and delivery negotiations for the remaining supplementary buys like light tanks, an air defence system and UAVs, lasting 18-30 months can be expected. Thereafter, a gestation delivery period of 12-18 months, if not longer, would follow.

“All such military buys have to be planned much before in anticipation of an emergency like the one in Ladakh and not once it is upon us,” said military analyst, Major General A.P. Singh (retired). Ad hoc and panic buying cannot provide us the military competency we need to deal with a crisis, added the officer who has been deployed to the LAC.

Similar panicky acquisition announcements ensued during and immediately after the 1999 Kargil war with Pakistan, in which worrisome inadequacies embarrassingly emerged. The 11-week long conflict, in which over 500 Indian Army soldiers died and twice that number were permanently handicapped, was also followed by assertions to acquire howitzers, tanks, infantry combat vehicles, night vision devices, Tatra truck-mounted missile systems alongside varied ammunition.

But within months of the cessation of hostilities, matters relapsed to previous levels of indifference amongst both the military and Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials. The flurry of activity after the Kargil Review Committee and the follow-on Group of Ministers task force remained largely stillborn and the prevailing operational gaps endured.

However, the tortuous saga of procuring assault rifles, fundamental and essential to the infantry soldier, best exemplifies the army’s equipping woes and the attendant web of self-imposed impediments it induces in this endeavour.

The narrative begins in the early 1990s when the army tasked the government-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to develop an assault rifle substitute to replace the inordinately heavy and outmoded Belgian 7.62mm FN FAL licence-built rifle dating back to 1953.

The DRDO spent nearly a decade designing the 5.45x45mm rifle at great cost, as part of the Indian Small Arms Systems (INSAS) that also included a carbine, machine gun and sniper rifle. The latter three weapon systems, however, were abandoned, but around the mid-1990s the army was ‘persuaded’ to operationally approve the INSAS assault rifle which then went into series production at the Ordnance Factory Board’s (OFB) Rifle Factory at Ishapore in West Bengal.

Soon after its induction into service in the late 1990’s, problems with the rifle’s efficiency surfaced. These centred round its sights, which malfunctioned especially in extreme temperatures, and its firing mechanism that often jammed during firefights. But successive army chiefs, without demurring, persisted in employing the INSAS rifle that was the infantry’s principal weapon during the Kargil war, much to the operational chagrin of many combat formations.

Front line infantry and Rashtriya Rifles (RR) units deployed on counter insurgency operations however, preferred the tested Russian Kalashnikov AK-47 of which 1,00,000 were imported from Bulgaria in 1995 for $8.3 million as a ‘stop gap’ measure.

The INSAS rifle at the time was priced at Rs 16,000-18,000 each, compared to the imported Bulgarian Ak-47 that cost around Rs 4,185 per unit.

The INSAS rifle’s inadequacy also became a contentious issue between India and Nepal in August 2005, after the then Royal Nepal Army (RNA) claimed the gun repeatedly malfunctioned during firefights with Maoist guerrillas, resulting in heavy casualties. At the time, the RNA claimed that the rifle also became too hot and unusable after sustained firing. India reacted irately to these charges, blaming the RNA’s lack of experience in maintaining the rifles, further alienating the Himalayan nation’s army.

In 2010, the army’s rocky relationship with the INSAS rifle ended, after it declared it to be ‘operationally inadequate’ and overtaken by ‘technological development’- a euphemism for simply being a poorly designed product.

Thereafter, the army astonishingly floated a requirement for a hybrid replacement assault rifle, capable of swiftly converting from 5.56x45mm caliber to 7.62×39 mm merely by replacing the barrel. The incredulous part of the army’s carefully crafted qualitative requirements (QRs) was that such a product was still at a prototype stage globally.

Undeterred, the MoD at the army’s behest, dispatched global tenders to over 40 manufacturers in 2011 for 66,000 of these multi-calibre rifles, with the proviso that the shortlisted model would eventually be licence produced by the OFB under a technology transfer. This was aimed at meeting the army’s requirement for over 750,000 rifles and lesser numbers for India’s paramilitaries and provincial police forces.

Trials, which concluded in late 2014, featured four weapons: Italy’s Beretta ARX 160 rifle, the Czech Republic’s BREN 805, the Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) ACE model and the US’s Colt Combat Rifle. None met the army’s impractical QRs, leaving the infantry, the army’s largest and operationally most active arm, still clamouring for a basic rifle.

For years, over ambitious QRs have been the bane of the military’s modernisation efforts, particularly the army. Even former defence minister Manohar Parrikar mocked the army’s propensity for overreach, admitting that some QRs appeared to be sourced from “Marvel comic books”.

Speaking at the India Today Conclave in March, 2015, in New Delhi, Parrikar aimed his remarks at former Army Chief General Bikram Singh sitting beside him, by terming some of the technologies listed in the forces GSQRs as ‘absurd and unrealistic’. Gen. Singh was one of the major proponents for the multi-calibre rifle.

After the multi-calibre rifle tender was finally terminated in 2015, the army, once again re-ignited deliberations over which calibre rifle it operationally needed. In between, it attempted to source a rifle from the Ordnance Factory Board, but failed and four years later, in March, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a facility at Korwa near Amethi to licence build 750,000 Russian Kalashnikov AK-203 7.62x39mm assault rifles.

Principally, the design of these rifles, as their model classification denotes, dates to 1947 with subsequent variants including the AK-203 undergoing minor improvements over the intervening years.

In short, after nearly a decade of seeking competent assault rifles to augment combat competency in a possible two-front war against China and Pakistan. the Indian Army agreed to a modified model of a 73-year-old weapon system. But despite this conciliation, the assault rifle chronicle did not end, as matters still remain in limbo.

For, the Indo-Russian Private Limited (IRPL) joint venture (JV) that has been established to make the AK-203 under an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between New Delhi and Moscow in February 2019, is yet to ink the deal for it.

Unreconcilable price differences have emerged, which could not be resolved even during defence minister Rajnath Singh’s recent Moscow visit. This, in turn, has led to the MoD instituting a ‘costing committee’ to try and resolve the ‘unreasonable and unacceptable’ rifle contract price reportedly being demanded by Russia. The committee is expected to submit its report by the end of August.

Industry sources, meanwhile, told The Wire that the Russians were demanding a royalty of $200 per rifle produced by the JV, making it an astronomical licence fee of $150 million for 750,000 units, and even more thereafter in addition to the cost of erecting the plant. The JV is expected to annually produce 70,000 AK-203s, initially from knocked down kits and later by localising components and sub-assemblies to indigenise production.

In the meantime, the army’s assault rifle requirement remains unrequited, compelling the MoD to acquire 72,400 SIG916 rifles last year, deliveries of which have been completed and the weapon system issued to counter-insurgency units in Kashmir.

Presently, the army’s weapon directorate is believed to be fast-tracking the follow-on acquisition of another equally large tranche of SIG916 rifles, defeating PM Modi’s atmanirbharta objective.
 

WARREN SS

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Atmanirbhar' India's Quest for Army Rifles Underlines Confusion in Procurement Policy
Chandigarh: The recently projected import of 72,400 US-made assault rifles for the Indian Army as an emergency purchase – made in response to the ongoing military face-off with China – best illustrates all that is inefficient, deficient and confused in the country’s military equipping and procurement procedures and policies.

It also explains the reason behind the services’ continually deferred modernisation, and the inability – or unwillingness – of civil and military officials in acknowledging that the six-year-old ‘Make in India’ initiative to reduce imported materiel dependency, has badly faltered.

Regrettably, ‘Make in India’ appears to be a slogan that is repeatedly regurgitated to create the impression that some new impetus is being provided to ‘atmanirbharta‘ or self sufficiency.

This stark reality became evident, even amongst diehard loyalists, by the Modi government’s knee-jerk reaction to the Chinese standoff in Ladakh in fast-tracking the pending import of assorted platforms and defence equipment, to plug long-pending gaps in India’s flailing military capability.

This extensive procurement list includes 33 Russian combat aircraft, light tanks (possibly Russian), an air defence system and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Israel and 72,400 additional SIG916 7.62x51mm assault rifles from USA’s Sig Sauer. The last is projected as a repeat order, following the earlier $70-72 million contract for an equal number of rifles, that was inked in February 2019.

Assorted missiles, precision guided munitions for 155mm howitzers from the US and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) from Israel comprise some of the other anticipated imports to seemingly counter the challenge posed by China’s military along the line of actual control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.

The paradox, however, is that almost all this materiel – barring possibly ammunition and missiles – will almost certainly not be delivered before the next 2-3 years. The earliest that the first of the 33 fighters, for instance – 21 Fulcrum MiG-29s and 12 Sukhoi Flanker Su-30MKIs to be licence-built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited – can be provided, is 2023-24.

Extended price and delivery negotiations for the remaining supplementary buys like light tanks, an air defence system and UAVs, lasting 18-30 months can be expected. Thereafter, a gestation delivery period of 12-18 months, if not longer, would follow.

“All such military buys have to be planned much before in anticipation of an emergency like the one in Ladakh and not once it is upon us,” said military analyst, Major General A.P. Singh (retired). Ad hoc and panic buying cannot provide us the military competency we need to deal with a crisis, added the officer who has been deployed to the LAC.

Similar panicky acquisition announcements ensued during and immediately after the 1999 Kargil war with Pakistan, in which worrisome inadequacies embarrassingly emerged. The 11-week long conflict, in which over 500 Indian Army soldiers died and twice that number were permanently handicapped, was also followed by assertions to acquire howitzers, tanks, infantry combat vehicles, night vision devices, Tatra truck-mounted missile systems alongside varied ammunition.

But within months of the cessation of hostilities, matters relapsed to previous levels of indifference amongst both the military and Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials. The flurry of activity after the Kargil Review Committee and the follow-on Group of Ministers task force remained largely stillborn and the prevailing operational gaps endured.

However, the tortuous saga of procuring assault rifles, fundamental and essential to the infantry soldier, best exemplifies the army’s equipping woes and the attendant web of self-imposed impediments it induces in this endeavour.

The narrative begins in the early 1990s when the army tasked the government-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to develop an assault rifle substitute to replace the inordinately heavy and outmoded Belgian 7.62mm FN FAL licence-built rifle dating back to 1953.

The DRDO spent nearly a decade designing the 5.45x45mm rifle at great cost, as part of the Indian Small Arms Systems (INSAS) that also included a carbine, machine gun and sniper rifle. The latter three weapon systems, however, were abandoned, but around the mid-1990s the army was ‘persuaded’ to operationally approve the INSAS assault rifle which then went into series production at the Ordnance Factory Board’s (OFB) Rifle Factory at Ishapore in West Bengal.

Soon after its induction into service in the late 1990’s, problems with the rifle’s efficiency surfaced. These centred round its sights, which malfunctioned especially in extreme temperatures, and its firing mechanism that often jammed during firefights. But successive army chiefs, without demurring, persisted in employing the INSAS rifle that was the infantry’s principal weapon during the Kargil war, much to the operational chagrin of many combat formations.

Front line infantry and Rashtriya Rifles (RR) units deployed on counter insurgency operations however, preferred the tested Russian Kalashnikov AK-47 of which 1,00,000 were imported from Bulgaria in 1995 for $8.3 million as a ‘stop gap’ measure.

The INSAS rifle at the time was priced at Rs 16,000-18,000 each, compared to the imported Bulgarian Ak-47 that cost around Rs 4,185 per unit.

The INSAS rifle’s inadequacy also became a contentious issue between India and Nepal in August 2005, after the then Royal Nepal Army (RNA) claimed the gun repeatedly malfunctioned during firefights with Maoist guerrillas, resulting in heavy casualties. At the time, the RNA claimed that the rifle also became too hot and unusable after sustained firing. India reacted irately to these charges, blaming the RNA’s lack of experience in maintaining the rifles, further alienating the Himalayan nation’s army.

In 2010, the army’s rocky relationship with the INSAS rifle ended, after it declared it to be ‘operationally inadequate’ and overtaken by ‘technological development’- a euphemism for simply being a poorly designed product.

Thereafter, the army astonishingly floated a requirement for a hybrid replacement assault rifle, capable of swiftly converting from 5.56x45mm caliber to 7.62×39 mm merely by replacing the barrel. The incredulous part of the army’s carefully crafted qualitative requirements (QRs) was that such a product was still at a prototype stage globally.

Undeterred, the MoD at the army’s behest, dispatched global tenders to over 40 manufacturers in 2011 for 66,000 of these multi-calibre rifles, with the proviso that the shortlisted model would eventually be licence produced by the OFB under a technology transfer. This was aimed at meeting the army’s requirement for over 750,000 rifles and lesser numbers for India’s paramilitaries and provincial police forces.

Trials, which concluded in late 2014, featured four weapons: Italy’s Beretta ARX 160 rifle, the Czech Republic’s BREN 805, the Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) ACE model and the US’s Colt Combat Rifle. None met the army’s impractical QRs, leaving the infantry, the army’s largest and operationally most active arm, still clamouring for a basic rifle.

For years, over ambitious QRs have been the bane of the military’s modernisation efforts, particularly the army. Even former defence minister Manohar Parrikar mocked the army’s propensity for overreach, admitting that some QRs appeared to be sourced from “Marvel comic books”.

Speaking at the India Today Conclave in March, 2015, in New Delhi, Parrikar aimed his remarks at former Army Chief General Bikram Singh sitting beside him, by terming some of the technologies listed in the forces GSQRs as ‘absurd and unrealistic’. Gen. Singh was one of the major proponents for the multi-calibre rifle.

After the multi-calibre rifle tender was finally terminated in 2015, the army, once again re-ignited deliberations over which calibre rifle it operationally needed. In between, it attempted to source a rifle from the Ordnance Factory Board, but failed and four years later, in March, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a facility at Korwa near Amethi to licence build 750,000 Russian Kalashnikov AK-203 7.62x39mm assault rifles.

Principally, the design of these rifles, as their model classification denotes, dates to 1947 with subsequent variants including the AK-203 undergoing minor improvements over the intervening years.

In short, after nearly a decade of seeking competent assault rifles to augment combat competency in a possible two-front war against China and Pakistan. the Indian Army agreed to a modified model of a 73-year-old weapon system. But despite this conciliation, the assault rifle chronicle did not end, as matters still remain in limbo.

For, the Indo-Russian Private Limited (IRPL) joint venture (JV) that has been established to make the AK-203 under an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between New Delhi and Moscow in February 2019, is yet to ink the deal for it.

Unreconcilable price differences have emerged, which could not be resolved even during defence minister Rajnath Singh’s recent Moscow visit. This, in turn, has led to the MoD instituting a ‘costing committee’ to try and resolve the ‘unreasonable and unacceptable’ rifle contract price reportedly being demanded by Russia. The committee is expected to submit its report by the end of August.

Industry sources, meanwhile, told The Wire that the Russians were demanding a royalty of $200 per rifle produced by the JV, making it an astronomical licence fee of $150 million for 750,000 units, and even more thereafter in addition to the cost of erecting the plant. The JV is expected to annually produce 70,000 AK-203s, initially from knocked down kits and later by localising components and sub-assemblies to indigenise production.

In the meantime, the army’s assault rifle requirement remains unrequited, compelling the MoD to acquire 72,400 SIG916 rifles last year, deliveries of which have been completed and the weapon system issued to counter-insurgency units in Kashmir.

Presently, the army’s weapon directorate is believed to be fast-tracking the follow-on acquisition of another equally large tranche of SIG916 rifles, defeating PM Modi’s atmanirbharta objective.
/Posting
Wire Propaganda here
 

WolfPack86

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Indian Defence Updates : India Needs Tu-160M2,Rafale Vs J-20,AK-203 Deal Signing,Fuel Cells For Army
 

WolfPack86

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India, Israel To Deepen Military Cooperation Amid Border Row
Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Friday spoke with his Israeli counterpart Lieutenant General Benjamin Gantz over telephone with strengthening bilateral defence ties being the focus of the conversation, at a time India is making emergency military purchases from several countries including Israel to bolster the military’s capabilities amid border tensions with China in eastern Ladakh.



The border row was also discussed, officials said.



“Both ministers expressed satisfaction at the progress of strategic cooperation between the two countries and discussed possibilities of further strengthening defence engagements,” the defence ministry said in a statement.



Singh updated Gantz on the situation along the contested Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, where Indian and China have lately failed to make a breakthrough in reducing border tensions despite intense negotiations at the military and diplomatic levels, and the disengagement process at some friction points has virtually stopped, people familiar with the developments said.



The border conflict with China has forced India to speed up the purchase of military hardware including fighter jets, smart air-to-ground weapons, missiles, rockets, multi-mission drones, air defence systems, GPS-guided artillery ammunition, tank ammunition and even assault rifles.



The United States, Russia, France and Israel are among the countries that India plans to import the weaponry from.



India is looking at sourcing from Israel the Firefly loitering ammunition, Spike anti-tank guided missiles, Spice guidance kits that can mounted on standard bombs to convert them into smart weapons and an operational surface-to-air missile system as a 2017 order worth $2 billion for such advanced systems to take down hostile aircraft and missiles hasn’t translated into deliveries yet, the officials said.

Israel has been a reliable military partner and has stood by India, said Air Marshal KK Nohwar (Retd), director general, Centre for Air Power Studies. “Israel has always given us niche technologies in areas of electronic warfare systems and weapons systems that were not readily forthcoming from other countries,” Nohwar said.



The government has authorised the armed forces to process cases for buying urgently-needed weapons and equipment worth up to Rs 300 crore to meet their critical operational requirements. The decision was taken at a special meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council --- India’ apex procurement body --- on July 15 to fast-track key purchases.



Singh sought greater participation of Israeli defence companies in the defence manufacturing sector under the new liberalised foreign direct investment (FDI) regime, the statement said.



From raising FDI in defence manufacturing to creating a separate budget for buying locally-made military hardware and notifying a list of weapons/equipment that cannot be imported, the government in May announced a raft of measures to boost self-reliance in the defence sector.



In early July, the defence ministry approved the purchase of weapons and ammunition worth Rs 38,900 crore. The cost of military hardware cleared for purchase from the domestic industry is pegged at Rs 31,130 crore and the orders are expected to give a push to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (Self-Reliant India Movement).
 

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