Indian Army to get new weapons worth Rs 16000 crores

Nirmala Sitharaman

Last month, the DAC had cleared procurement of 72,400 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines on fast-track basis for Rs 3,547 crore to enable the defence forces to meet their immediate requirement for the troops deployed on the borders.

Assault rifles, Light Machine Guns (LMGs) and sniping weapons costing over Rs 15,000 crore are part of a mega procurement plan to equip soldiers who are part of counter-terror operations and are serving on the borders.

The three services will also acquire an undisclosed number of light machine guns at a cost of Rs 1,819 crores.

The DAC also approved the procurement of seven lakh forty thousand assault rifles for the three services. The proposals include the purchase of 7.40 lakh assault rifles, 5,719 sniper rifles and light machine guns.

The defense ministry has chose to go in for an inter-governmental contract for weapons that are required immediately while the rest of the requirement would be fulfilled under the "Make in India" initiative that will see an Indian firm partnering with a global counterpart to manufacture the weapons locally.

The rifles will be produced in in India under the 'Buy and Make (Indian)' category through both state-run Ordnance Factory Board and private sector. The DAC had simplified "Make-II" procedure, which prescribes guidelines to be followed to develop and manufacture defence equipment through Indian industry.

The armed forces had flagged the need for new guns 11 years ago.

Meanwhile, non-frontline soldiers will get new indigenous rifles.

In the wake of two back to back terror strikes at Indian army camps, the country's defense ministry has made a decision to shore up the infantry's weapons stock. A concurrent proposal was now getting processed for the balance quantity of more than 32,000 LMGs to be procured under the 'Buy and Make (Indian)' categorisation, officials said, adding the main goal of these clearances was to equip the soldiers with modern and more effective equipment.

To enhance the anti-submarine warfare capabilities of Naval Ships, the DAC approved the procurement of the "Mareech" advanced torpedo decoy systems. This system, named the "Mareech" has been developed indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and has successfully completed extensive trial evaluations.

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