Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 30
Even as the process to re-equip soldiers with a new contemporary assault rifle drags on, the Army is moving to modify the AK-47 rifles in its inventory with new accessories to meet its emerging operational requirements.
A process has been initiated for acquiring “weapon speciality kits” that includes items like tactical flashlight, fiber reinforced pistol grip, swing swivel attachment, polymer rails, rubberised pistol fore front grip, cheek rest, pointing grip, extendable butt stock and side mount that can be attached to the rifle in the field as and when required.
“Due to change in scenario and change in tactics being adopted by terrorists, there is a need to modify the AK-47 with arrangements to mount night sight, holographic sight, flash light and laser beam for early engagement of targets and to increase operational efficiency of troops,” states a request for information (RFI) floated by the Amy this week.
While the indigenous INSAS rifle is the Army’s standard weapon, units deployed for counter-terrorism or other specialist tasks are equipped with different versions of the AK-47 for providing greater fire power that is needed for such operations. The Army wants to replace the INSAS which has not only become obsolete but is also prone to glitches.
The weapon speciality kit comprises parts which can replace the existing parts of Rifle AK-47, thereby enhancing the utility of the weapon and at the same time make the firer comfortable and increase the chances of align engagement, the RFI adds.
The items will not require any tool to fix on to the rifle and the exercise can be undertaken in field conditions during operations without the need to refer to a workshop or a skilled technician.
The Army’s desire to procure new assault rifles has been bogged down for years due to financial constraints and red tape, with some reports indicating that only the infantry and some other arms will get new rifles. In February, a deal was signed to procure 72,400 Swiss SIG-716 assault rifles. A deal with Russia is also in the works to procure 6,50,000 Kalashnikov AK-103/203 assault rifles.
A process has been initiated for acquiring ‘weapon speciality kits’ that includes items like tactical flashlight, fiber reinforced pistol grip, swing swivel attachment, polymer rails, rubberised pistol fore front grip, cheek rest, pointing grip, extendable butt stock and side mount that can be attached to the rifle in the field as and when required
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