M A I N   N E W S

More muscle for special forces
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
The Army is marching ahead to boost firepower and enhance mobility of its special forces and select infantry outfits. It is procuring carbines for close-quarter battle, additional accessories for its recently acquired TAR-21 assault rifles and all-terrain vehicles.

Recently, the Army was in the market to procure special assault rifles that can shoot around corners without the soldier having to expose himself for a direct line-of-sight shot.

The Army has opted for a 5.56 mm carbine, a departure from the obsolete 9 mm caliber currently in service. Since carbines are smaller and more compact than rifles and capable of a high rate of automatic fire, they are preferred for combat at short ranges and in confined spaces, though their effectiveness is negligible at longer ranges. Special forces world over are heavy users of carbines.

The Army wants carbines to be fully operable by troops wearing NBC protective clothing, besides having the capability to mount additional gadgets like laser rangers and night vision sights.

The list of accessories for the modular Israeli Tavor TAR-21 rifle, which is now the standard personal weapon for special forces personnel and paratroopers includes telescopic sights and night vision sights, accessory rails for mounting additional gadgets, high-intensity flashlights, dual magazine clips and luminous sights for under-barrel grenade launchers.

Also being sought for the TAR-21 are single eye night vision goggles with headband. Providing high-resolution imagery and image intensification troops would be able to use them in conjugation with the rifle’s day sights or as an independent gadget by being worn on the forehead.

Specifications for the all-terrain vehicles (ATV) include seating capacity for 10 persons and the ability to operate across a wide spectrum terrain and climatic conditions, including snowbound areas, deserts and marshes.

Inbuilt GPS and navigation system, air-conditioning, fire-fighting aids, internal and external storage capacity for military equipment, cold starting system and provisions for attaching engineering support equipment like snow cutter, blades and trailers would be added features of the ATV.



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