Srinagar: A week after the India and China decided to push ahead with “complete disengagement” of troops in Ladakh’s Galwan valley, Indian Army is laying the groundwork to buy an additional 72,000 Sig Sauer assault rifles for its troops from the United States, reports claimed.
Quoting a source, familiar with the development, a report by a Delhi based newspaper Hindustan Times, said that the proposed purchase follows an order for 72,400 assault rifles placed with the US last year, and is expected to be made by invoking a key clause in India’s arms buying rules that governs speeding up purchases to meet urgent requirements.
The report quoted the source further saying that India signed the previous order- made through the fast track procedure (FTP), worth Rs 700 crore in early 2019 and the deliveries of all the rifles have been completed.
Stating that new assault rifles will gradually replace the flaw-ridden 5.56mm INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) rifles inducted around 22 years ago, another official told HT that the Sig Sauer rifles are being bought to meet the army’s requirement of a total of 8 lakh assault rifles.
Talking about an another project, the report said that army’s further requirements will be met through a Make in India project for the local production of AK-203 assault rifles at Amethi’s Korwa, and this procurement is in its final stage with a committee ironing out pricing issues, the report quoted a third source as saying.
According to the report, the fast track procedure can be invoked in cases where “undue/unforeseen delay” in buying weapons is seen to be adversely impacting the military’s capacity and preparedness.
Besides this, India has also ordered more stocks of Excalibur precision guided munitions from the US for its artillery guns, while Russia assured swifter delivery of weapons and ammunition during defence minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Moscow last month, the report added.
Earlier, a report suggested that Indian army is all set to get its hands on new close quarter battle (CQB) carbines, manufactured by a UAE firm to replace the “outdate and ageing” 9mm British Sterling 1A1 sub machine guns that are in service.
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