New Delhi: Army has issued a global tender
for arming its more than ten lakh soldiers with a new assault
rifle, which will replace the existing indigenous INSAS gun in
In the first lot, the Army will procure 65,000 rifles
and has sought complete transfer of technology from the
vendors so that the guns can be license produced at Indian
"The global Request for Proposal (RFP) to procure new
assault rifle was issued recently to multiple global vendors,"
Army officials said here.
As per the RFP, the vendors are required to submit
their response by the end of February next year for supplying
the 5.56 mm rifles.
The Army wants the rifles to be equipped with under
barrel grenade launchers and capable of firing indigenously-
The Army had first expressed its intention to replace
the INSAS series rifles with modern assault rifles in its
technology capability roadmap prepared last year.
The INSAS rifles, designed by the DRDO, were inducted
into the armed forces in the 90s and have been used in the
Kargil war and counter-insurgency operations also.
In its early days with the force, the rifles faced
reliability problems in cold climate in places such as Kashmir
Valley and Siachen glacier.
Due to the cold weather, the rifles would jam occasionally
and the polymer magazines would crack. These problems were
later corrected by the manufacturers.
The Army is working on the F-INSAS project, under which
it wants troops to be equipped with equipment such as safe and
effective grenades, surveillance and night vision devices,
personal protection suites and net connectivity.