Army finalises plan to modernise weapons

Why it is in news?

  • The Army has finalised one of its biggest procurement plans for infantry modernisation under which a large number of light machine guns (LMGs), battle carbines and assault rifles are being purchased at a cost of nearly ₹40,000 crore to replace its ageing and obsolete weapons.
  • The broad process to acquire around 7 lakh rifles, 44,000 LMGs and nearly 44,600 carbines has been finalised and the Defence Ministry is on the same page with the Army in moving ahead with the procurement 

Security threats

  • The world’s second largest standing Army has been pressing for fast-tracking the procurement of various weapons systems considering the evolving security threats.
  • a fresh RFI (request for information) to procure the LMGs will be issued in the next few days, months after the defence ministry scrapped the tender for the 7.62 calibre guns as there was only one vendor left after a series of field trials. The plan is to initially procure around 10,000 LMGs.
  • The Army has also finalised the specifications for a new 7.62 mm assault rifle. and the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the defence ministry’s highest decision making body on procurement, is expected to give the go-ahead for the much needed procurement soon.
  • The procurement of assault rifles has witnessed significant delays due to a variety of reasons including the Army’s failure to finalise the specifications for it. The Army needs around 7 lakh 7.62x51 mm assault guns to replace its INSAS rifles.
  • An RFI is a process whose purpose is to collect information about capabilities of various vendors.
  • Around half a dozen firms including a few global arms manufacturers have responded to the RFI.
  • Army sources said various specifications for the LMGs and battle carbines were tweaked to ensure that the problem of single vendor does not recur.
  • The combined cost of the LMGs, assault rifles and carbines will be in excess ofRs 40,000 crore, said an official. 

 Source: The Hindu

Posted by Jawwad Kazi on 30th Oct 2017