India’s Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has developed a new 7.62 calibre assault rifle that operates on the rotating bolt model, same as the legendary AK-47.
The weapon has been on a fast track basis, responding to army's requirement of a new high calibre assault rifle. In normal course, it takes around a year at least to come up with a new weapon, whereas the assault rifle was ready in half an year.
The OFB gun has a higher calibre compared to AK-47 which is a 7.62x39 rifle, The Times of India reported Tuesday.
"The guns will be manufactured at Rifle Factory Ishapore (RFI) in West Bengal," said director general of OFB S C Bajpai while addressing the valedictory function of Indian Ordnance Factory Service (IOFS) officers at the National Academy of Defence Production (NADP).
“An internal trial of the weapon would be held next month,” Bajpai said.
Thereafter, in May, the rifle would be offered to the project evaluation committee that has members of army too. The user trials by the army are expected this year itself.
Bajpai also added that in the initial stage it was found the gun had higher recoil that was inconvenient for the user. A buffer has been developed through Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to bring down the recoil, he said.
INSAS, which was used in the Kargil war, is being replaced and the army wants rifles of 7.62 calibre which have a higher lethality. The 5.56 mm bullet used in INSAS generally does not kill the enemy, instead leaves them injured.
The theory is wounding the enemy is more effective in a war as it takes several other soldiers to evacuate the injured, thus reducing the enemy strength. However, in counter insurgency and anti-terror operations, the army prefers a bullet that kills, said an ordnance factory source.
This is the second assault rifle developed by the ordnance factory. The 7.62x39 calibre Ghatak is used by the paramilitary forces. Ordnance Factory Trichi has also independently developed an assault rifle of the same calibre. Trichi rifle works on tilting bolt model which is different from AK-47.
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