The fact stands true that our Army deserves weapons which are nothing less than perfect. The responsibility of defending and protecting the whole country needs equipment which should be as reliable as an Army man. Following this notion, the Army has never compromised on any level, even if it’s rifles made in their own country.
The Indian Army has rejected the “Made in India” assault rifles for the second year in a row. It has been cited that the poor quality and ineffective firing rate are the problem. This also comes as a blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. The 7.62 x 51 mm guns were built by the Rifle Factory, Ishapore.
The homemade 7.62 x 51 mm assault rifles were meant to replace AK-47 and INSAS rifles. These are the basic weapons used by jawans. The Army took two basic tests last week and the rifles miserably failed both. According to Army sources, the “excessive flash and sound signature” defeats the purpose and makes the gun indiscreet in combat.
To grave disappointment, the new rifles tested this year failed to have a safety mechanism which needs easier loading and “complete redesigning of the magazine”. It was further explained that,
Excessive number of faults and stoppages to the extent of more than twenty times the maximum permissible standards.
Last year, the 5.56 mm Excalibur was the indigenous rifle rejected by the Army. According to sources,
The Excalibur Rifle was considered only as a possible replacement for the in-service 5.56 mm INSAS rifle. Since major shortcomings were noticed during comparative trials, the option was not pursued.
A high-level meeting will decide upon the procurement of assault rifles for the armed forces. The required specifications will be discussed by representatives of the Army, the Air Force, and the Navy, besides top officials of the Defence Ministry.
The Army is in dire need of new weapons. Since domestic sources have failed to touch the benchmark, the army might have to acquire weapons through global means which will have international vendors bidding and competing. This process can take years to get the first gun to come out.