The Indian defense ministry has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking a 7.62 mm x 51mm assault rifle with lethality to achieve the objective of shoot-to-kill to replace its existing 5.56 mm INSAS (Indian small arms system) rifle.
Total Quantity required is approximately 1,85,000 Assault Rifles out of which the immediate requirement is of approximately 65000 rifles. The approximately quantity 65000 Assault Rifles should be delivered within four (04) months to twenty eight months (28) from the day of signing of the contract, the RFI issued this Tuesday stated.
Tentative date of the issue of RFP is April 2017.
According to the RFI, the rifle should be capable of achieving accuracy better than three Minutes of Angle up to a range of minimum 500 meters. The rifle should be capable of fitting and firing of Indian in-service UBGL manufactured by Indian Ordnance Factory, Trichy. The rifle should have integrated open sight and multi option telescopic sight. The rifle has to be compatible with all modern sights and accessories and provision for mounting the same.
The army has so far not shortlisted any particular gun to replace INSAS that entered service in the late 1990s.
The army had initially tendered for 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”.
The Indian Army had on June 15 informed the four short-listed international firms (Colt (US), Beretta (Italy), Ceska (Czech) and Israel Weapon Industries) that it was retracting the multi-crore contract.