India’s Defence Acquisition Council Approves Procurement of Additional SIG Sauer Assault Rifles

 In Land, China, Industry, Acquisition, & Innovation, Defense, India, Forces & Capabilities

India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) accord­ed approval for pro­cure­ment of addi­tion­al SIG Sauer assault rifles at a cost of approx. Rs.780 crore (~USD105 mil­lion).

The new assault rifles are to equip front­line troops of the Indian Army and the pro­cure­ment came amid the ongo­ing tense border stand­off with India’s north­ern neigh­bor China.

Earlier this year, it was reported that India was seek­ing to pro­cure 72,000 addi­tion­al SIG716 assault rifles from American firearms man­u­fac­tur­er, SIG Saur Inc.

In February last year, India had signed an INR 700 crore (around USD 99 million) contract for pro­cure­ment of 72,400 SIG716G2 Patrol  assault rifles from Sig Sauer Inc* under the fast-track pro­cure­ment (FTP) pro­ce­dure.  A major­i­ty of these rifles (66,400) are for the Indian Army wit the remain­ing divid­ed between the Navy (2,000) and the Air Force (4,000).

The first batch of 10,000 SiG716 assault rifles arrived in India in December last year.

The new SiG716 rifles will par­tial­ly replace the Indian Army’s INSAS (INdian Small Arms System) assault rifle. The induc­tion of these new assault rifles is a shot in the arm for the Army troops engaged in counter-ter­ror­ism oper­a­tions in the country’s north.

The Indian Army has been, for long, seek­ing to replace its INSAS rifle, cham­bered for 5.56x45mm NATO round, with a rifle that fires a larger, more pow­er­ful 7.62x51mm round, such as the SIG716.

The major por­tion of the Army’s INSAS rifle inven­to­ry will report­ed­ly be replaced by the Russia-designed AK-203 assault rifles, man­u­fac­tured in India by Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited. The Indo-Russia Rifles is a joint ven­ture between India’s state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and Russia’s Kalashnikov Concern, with Rosoboronexport hold­ing a minor­i­ty stake. The JV will pro­duce around 750,000 AK-203 rifles, a 7.62×39mm vari­ant from the AK-100 family.

*The New Hampshire-based com­pa­ny was orig­i­nal­ly formed in 1985 (then called SIGARMS) to import and dis­trib­ute firearms made by German firearms man­u­fac­tur­er SIG Sauer GmbH into the United States. Since 2000, the com­pa­ny is orga­ni­za­tion­al­ly sep­a­rate from SIG Sauer GmbH, and was renamed SIG Sauer Inc. in 2007.

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