Indian Army to order 72,000 assault rifles from America through Fast Track Procedure

New Delhi: Indian Army will buy an additional 72,000 Sig Sauer assault rifles from America, reports suggest.

According to reports quoting sources, the Sig Sauer rifles are being bought to meet the army’s requirement of a total of 8 lakh assault rifles for gradual replacement of the flaw-ridden 5.56mm INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) rifles inducted around 22 years ago.The remaining requirements of the army will be met through a Make in India project for the local production of AK-203 assault rifles at Amethi’s Korwa.

India signed the previous order worth Rs 700 crore for 72,400 assault rifles in early 2019 through the fast track procedure (FTP) and the deliveries of all these rifles from America have been completed. According to rules, weapons sought under the FTP should already be in the military’s armoury, have been trial evaluated or be in service in foreign militaries so that the time required for evaluation is minimised.

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. Recently, the Defence Ministry placed an order of 16,000 light machine guns (LMGs) from Israel to do away with the shortage of these guns.

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