New Delhi: Indian army is going to get modern assault rifles to replace the existing glitch-prone 5.56mm INSAS (Indian small arms system) rifles.
India on Tuesday signed a contract with a US firm Sig Sauer for 72,400 assault rifles at a cost of around Rs 700 crore.
These assault rifles will be used mainly by soldiers deployed along the borders with Pakistan and China.
The assault rifles are being bought through the fast-track procurement (FTP) route and will be delivered within 12 months.
FTP is being used to buy only limited number of arms which are critical for defence forces operational capability.
Indian army will get 66,400 of these assault rifles, Indian Airforce will get 4,000 and Indian Navy 2,000.
These rifles are used by US forces as well as several other European countries.
The Indian Armed Forces are currently equipped with 5.56×45 mm INSAS Rifle. There is an urgent requirement of replacing the in-service 5.56X45 mm INSAS Rifle with a 7.62X51mm
Assault Rifle which is compact, robust, modern in technology and simple to maintain in field conditions, the officials said.
Indian security forces also use AK-47 assault rifles. As per reports, Indian ordnance factories in Ishapore and Kanpur stopped production of the indigenous INSAS rifle.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman had earlier this month approved the procurement of the Sig Sauer rifles.