Army issues tender for multirole assault rifles

Army has issued a tender for procuring over 60,000 multi-role assault rifles.

Updated: Dec 21, 2011, 22:28 PM IST

New Delhi: Seeking to boost the firepower of
troops to undertake conventional and counter-insurgency
operations, the Army has issued a tender for procuring over
60,000 multi-role assault rifles.

In the global Request for Proposal (RFP) issued to 34
vendors, the Army has stated requirement for a gun which has
two barrels that can be used in different types of operations,
army sources said here.
For counter-insurgency operations, we want the guns to be
equipped with barrels of 7.62mm calibre bullets, and for
conventional warfare, we want the gun to fire 5.56mm bullets,
they said.

The multi-role assault rifles are being procured to
replace the existing INSAS series of rifles from the Infantry
battalions, they said.

The sources said such a rifle would also help in saving
cost for procuring two different types of guns for the troops
and would require only three parts, including the barrel and
the magazine, to be changed which would be possible at the
unit level only.

The Army wants the new guns not to be heavier than 3.6
kilograms, almost half kilogram lighter than the INSAS rifles.

The Army has sought complete transfer of technology from
the vendors so that the guns can be license produced at Indian
ordnance factories.
The force also wants the rifles to be equipped with under
barrel grenade launchers and capable of firing indigenously-
produced ammunition.

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 had faced
reliability problems in cold climate in places such as Kashmir
Valley and Siachen glacier.