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India To Purchase New Army Assault Rifle

© Sputnik / Anton Denisov / Go to the photo bankA sniper rifle. (File)
A sniper rifle. (File) - Sputnik International
Indian Army has not inducted modern assault rifles for long due to failure in developing local made rifles as per the requirement of army.

An Indian army soldier takes up a position near the site of a gunbattle between Indian army soldiers and rebels inside an army brigade headquarters near the border with Pakistan, known as the Line of Control (LoC), in Uri on September 18, 2016 - Sputnik International
India Sets Sights on Obtaining 185,000 Assault Rifles to Replace Old Weapons
New Delhi (Sputnik) — A large part of the 1.3-million-strong Indian Army will soon get sniper rifles as more than a dozen global manufacturers have responded to the Army request for information on supplying 185,000 assault rifles with telescopic sights.

Sources told Sputnik that most of the companies who were attracted towards the 2011 bid responded to the September 2016 request for information which seeks a 7.62mm x 51mm rifle. "Companies have expressed their willingness to share technology of rifle which will later be manufactured in India following a direct import of approximately 65,000 rifles," a source added.

Indian Army is expected to give its final nod for this in the next few weeks. After signing the contract, companies will have to deliver 65000 assault rifles within four months to 28 months from the day of signing of the contract.

Meanwhile, Indian Army is conducting trials of 7.62mm x 45 mm Excalibur developed by the government-owned DRDO at various locations to induct them in some numbers at a later date, source added.

Approximately $1 billion contract of 7.62 mm x 51 mm rifle will replace the Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) 5.56x45 mm assault rifle.

The Indian Army has been trying to replace 5.56x45 mm assault rifle since long but has failed as Israel Weapon Industries' ACE 1, the Beretta ARX160, the Ceská Zbrojovka CZ 805 BREN, and Colt's Colt Combat Rifle did not meet its requirements during trials. The Indian Army had asked manufacturers to supply rifles that weighed 3.6 kilogram and could easily be converted from a 5.56x45 mm to a 7.62x39 mm.

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