The Indian Army is likely to issue a new RFI (Request for Information) for a new single caliber assault rifle to replace its INSAS rifle after it scrapped a four-year-old tender for purchasing 1.8 lakh multi-caliber weapons.
“A RFI will soon be issued for a single caliber guns as part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The RFI will be open to all,” PTI quoted an unnamed defense source as saying Tuesday.
“The army has so far not shortlisted any particular gun to replace INSAS that entered service in the late 1990s,” the source said.
The army had initially tendered for a a rifle with interchangeable barrels firing different calibres — the 5.56-mm INSAS round and the 7.62-mm AK-47 round as the troops use them in counter-insurgency operations while the INSAS rifles are issued for peace stations.
However, none of the firms which had pitched for the contract could satisfy the army with sources saying that the General Staff Qualitative Requirements “could well have been too ambitious”.
“There was no point on working on something that cannot be worked out,” the sources added.
Army had on June 15 informed the four short-listed international firms that it was retracting the multi-crore contract.