The Narendra Modi-led NDA government has cleared a proposal to produce at least 7.47 lakh Kalashnikov assault rifles by the Ordnance Factory Board and a Russian Joint venture firm for the Indian Army. The plant for the same will be set up near Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, reported ANI.
According to the ANI, the Centre on Wednesday evening cleared a proposal to set up a new plant at Amethi, Uttar Pradesh for the joint production of 7.47 lakh Kalashnikov series assault rifles. This decision comes after the Narendra Modi government had signed a deal for procuring 72,400 assault rifles for the Indian Army’s infantry from the US-based M/s Sig Sauer.
The joint venture is in response to Ministry of Defence (MoD)’s Request for Information (RFI) for procurement of 6,50,000 assault rifles of 7.62×39 mm calibre under ‘Make in India’ program.
Reportedly, an intergovernmental agreement for a joint venture between Russia’s Kalashnikov and Ordnance Factory Board is likely to be signed later this week. The joint venture is reportedly in response to Ministry of Defence (MoD)’s Request for Information (RFI) for procurement of 650,000 assault rifles of 7.62×39 mm calibre under ‘Make in India’ program.
The Indian Armed Forces are currently equipped with 5.56×45 mm INSAS Rifle. There is an urgent requirement of replacing the in-service 5.56X45 mm INSAS Rifle with a 7.62X51mm Assault Rifle which is compact, robust, modern in technology and simple to maintain in field conditions, the officials said.
The Indo-Russia deal comes days after the government signed a deal for procuring 72,400 assault rifles for the Indian Army’s infantry from the US-based M/s Sig Sauer. The Indian Army will receive a bulk 66,400 of the assault rifles. The Indian Air Force will get 4,000 while the remaining 2,000 would be given to the Indian Navy.
The assault rifles will be a game changer for the Indian Army especially for the troops deployed in areas on the border with China. The need for such rifles was repeatedly pitched in view of evolving security threats from both China and Pakistan.
The Sig Sauer assault rifles are renowned for their firepower as well as reliability in extreme weather conditions. The company which manufactures them claims that the assault rifles can be invaluable for troops using them for tactical operations.