In a major move towards the modernization of the infantry, the Ministry of Defense approved a pending proposal from the Army to acquire about 73,000 US assault rifles. US In fast track mode, official sources said Saturday.
Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approved the acquisition of the Sig Sauer rifles, which will be used by troops deployed along the nearly 3,600 km border with China, the sources said.
They said the rifles, which are being used by US forces, as well as in several other European countries, are being purchased under the fast-track acquisition procedure.
“The contract is expected to be completed within a week, and the US firm will have to hand over the rifles within a year from the date of termination of the agreement,” said a senior official involved in negotiating the agreement.
Army sources said rifles made in the United States will replace INSAS rifles.
The second largest army in the world has been pushing to accelerate the acquisition of various weapons systems, considering the evolution of security threats, including along India’s borders with Pakistan and China.
In October 2017, the Army began the process to acquire around 7 lakh rifles, 44,000 light machine guns (LMG) and about 44,600 carbines.
About 18 months ago, the Army had rejected an assault rifle manufactured by the state-owned rifle factory Ishapore, after the weapons miserably failed the firing tests.
Following it, the Army began to look for rifles in the global market.
The acquisition of assault rifles has witnessed significant delays due to a variety of reasons, including the fact that the Army has not finalized the specifications for it.
The Army needs around 7 lakh 7.62×51 mm to replace their INSAS rifles.
Source : ZeeNews