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Posted at: Feb 13, 2018, 6:27 PM; last updated: Feb 13, 2018, 7:32 PM (IST)

7.4 lakh new assault rifles to replace INSAS

7.4 lakh new assault rifles to replace INSAS
The defence ministry will also procure light machine guns worth Rs 1,819 crore, they said.

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 13

The Defence Acquisition Council, the top decision-making body of the Indian Ministry of Defence, on Tuesday okayed a plan to have 7.4 lakh new assault rifles  to replace the standard issue INSAS – a three-decade old design.

It also gave nod to a plan to have 5,719 new sniper rifles at an estimated cost of Rs 982 crore. These high-precision weapons will be bought through the global tendering route. The DAC also okayed a cost of over Rs 1,819 crore an ‘essential quantity’ of new light machine guns (LMG).

 

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The DAC headed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman  approved proposals valued at approximately Rs 15,935 crore, a MoD statement said tonight.

The 7.4 lakh assault rifles are for the three services. These rifles will be ‘Made in India’ through the Ordnance Factory Board and also the private industry at an estimated cost of Rs 12,280 crore.

The assault rifles will replace the Army’s standard assault weapons. This will replace the existing INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) rifle, a 5.56 calibre which was designed some three decades ago. The new rifle will be 7.62 calibre, meaning can fire bigger ammunition.

In January this year, the DAC had okayed a Rs 3,547-crore project to acquire two separate types of rifles for the Indian Army. This was for procurement of 72,400 assault rifles for the infantry and another 93,895 carbines for close-quarter encounters in built-up areas – largely fighting insurgency. 

In the last one month, to equip the soldiers on the border with modern and more effective equipment, the DAC has fast tracked procurement of the three main personal weapons -- rifles, carbines and Light Machine Guns.

To enhance the anti-submarine warfare capabilities of Indian Naval ships, the DAC approved procurement of torpedo decoy systems for the Navy. The ‘Mareech’ system has been developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation and has successfully completed extensive trial evaluations. The ‘Mareech’ systems will be produced by Bharat Electronics Limited at an estimated cost of Rs 850 crore.

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