In a bid to fight terrorism and for carrying out major operations in Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Army received the first batch of American SiG Sauer assault rifles.
The first lot of 10,000 SiG 716 assault rifles has arrived in India on Wednesday. Another batch of 10,000 rifles will arrive soon.
The Indian Army is looking to move to a rifle that fires a larger, more powerful rifle cartridge than the 5.56x45mm intermediate cartridge used by the Insas. The SIG716 uses the more powerful 7.62x51mm cartridge.
Earlier, India had signed a Rs 700 crore deal to buy 72,000 of these rifles from the US under fast track procedures.
The induction of these new assault rifles with the troops in operation will help them to operate more effectively in engagements with the terrorists in Pakistan and PoK.
The rifles are being supplied by US arms maker Sig Sauer. They will be manufactured in the US and will be supplied within a year since the contract for the new guns is being made under fast-track procurement (FTP).
A majority of these rifles — 66,000 — are for the Indian Army. The remaining will be divided between the Indian Navy (2,000) and the Indian Air Force (4,000).
The Sig Sauer SIG716 7.62×51 mm assault rifles will replace the Indian-made 5.56x45mm Insas rifles.
The Indian Army will also receive a major boost with the induction of more than 7 lakh AK-203 assault rifles which are going to be produced in the joint venture between India and Russia.