It is said that Indian soldiers are the best in the world but the worst equipped. Despite facing hostile situations, the army has taken a proactive and leadership role in counter-terrorism operations especially in Jammu and Kashmir. According to senior military officers, the casualities in counter-terror operations could reduce to half if soldiers are provided better assault rifles. Recently, the army re-floated the Request for Information (RFI) to procure 5.5 lakh assault rifles under Make-in-India category.
On the same line, after the army announced to replace all of its obsolete World War II era 9 mm carbines, DRDO’s Pune-based Armaments Research and Development Establishment has designed a new Modern Sub Machine Carbine (MSMC).
Designed, developed and manufactured in India, the 5.56 mm MSMC has a 30-round magazine and can fire upto 900 rounds per minute. For accurate aiming up to the weapon’s 200 metre effective range, the weapon has an indigenously-made holographic sight with an inbuilt red-dot laser pointer. This makes it perfect for use in confined urban spaces.
The weapon meets army’s rigorous testing standards but an order from the army is still awaited.
At the moment, the carbine has been given to the police and paramilitary forces, as it will enable these forces to modernise their weapon inventories. Already, the Chhattisgarh police have ordered 640 of them and similar orders expected from the Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Meghalaya police. The weapon’s designers believe the firearm has the potential to replace nearly 400,000 obsolete weapons, an order worth over Rs 45,000 crore (including ammunition).
It was during the cross-border raids in Myanmar that the army felt the need for lighter, new-generation weapons. Despite carrying huge load over six km of the thickly-forested terrain, the Army conveyed the need of lighter equipment to top political authorities.