Small Arms Thread

ramana
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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby ramana » 28 May 2015 08:44

Thakur_B, thanks

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby member_22539 » 28 May 2015 14:53

Thakur_B wrote:The "reverse engineered" Anamika 9 mm carbine


Are you sure about that? Any sources? If it is true, then finally we can recover some of the money wasted buying the thing fully made from Beretta rather than doing a license manufacture. Our order in the tens of thousands certainly warranted that.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Thakur_B » 29 May 2015 07:10

Arun Menon wrote:
Thakur_B wrote:The "reverse engineered" Anamika 9 mm carbine


Are you sure about that? Any sources? If it is true, then finally we can recover some of the money wasted buying the thing fully made from Beretta rather than doing a license manufacture. Our order in the tens of thousands certainly warranted that.


Check last page, I posted an excerpt from OFB meetings.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby member_22539 » 29 May 2015 10:45

^Ya, I read that, but no mention of which submachine gun they are reverse engineering. Besides they whole read is confusing (not criticizing, any info is good). For instance the tender for buy and make multi-caliber assault rifle stands canceled, yet that one is mentioned as well. Happy to be corrected if I am wrong.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Thakur_B » 29 May 2015 18:59

Arun Menon wrote:^Ya, I read that, but no mention of which submachine gun they are reverse engineering. Besides they whole read is confusing (not criticizing, any info is good).


Thakur_B wrote:i. Anamika 9mm Carbine : SAF is developing this weapon by reverse engineering process.
MHA is regularly enquired for this project. Successful development will provide sustained
workload for SAF.

http://bpms.org.in/documents/axn-tkn-on ... b-en3c.pdf


For instance the tender for buy and make multi-caliber assault rifle stands canceled, yet that one is mentioned as well. Happy to be corrected if I am wrong.


The meeting probably happened before the tender was scrapped.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby member_22539 » 30 May 2015 05:31

^I see, thanks for the info :)

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Thakur_B » 01 Jun 2015 07:19

INDIA LOOKS LIKELY TO SCRAP MULTI-CALIBRE RIFLE CONTEST
http://www.janes.com/article/51815/indi ... le-contest

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Aditya_V » 01 Jun 2015 09:22

Thakur_B wrote:INDIA LOOKS LIKELY TO SCRAP MULTI-CALIBRE RIFLE CONTEST
http://www.janes.com/article/51815/indi ... le-contest
:D :D :D

The UPA sabotaged India in every buying Baretta rifles, trying t destroy the Artillery manufacturing in Nalanda for many years, sabotaging Vidvanshak etc..

We need at least 10 years of NDA to get the right MIC and right officers promoted in the Armed forces.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Gyan » 02 Jun 2015 10:15

Various divisions of OFB competing to design weapons like Ghatak is a good development

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Thakur_B » 02 Jun 2015 14:38

Gyan wrote:Various divisions of OFB competing to design weapons like Ghatak is a good development


Contrary to my opinions w.r.t. other equipment, the record of ARDE and OFB with regards to small arms design, let alone manufacture, is horrible. Small arms development is a low hanging fruit that can be done on a shoestring budget. It's not the lack of finished products that is disappointing, it's a lack of prototypes and concepts that is more frightening. ARDE even more so than OFB.

Here's a total list of ARDE small arm projects since INSAS:
- 40 mm UBGL (heavier and larger than large majority of UBGLs out there)
- MCMC/JVPC/Milap
- MCIWS
- unknown LMG

Here's a total list of OFB small arm projects since INSAS:
- Vidhvansak (reverse engineered from Denel)
- Kalantak (not adopted but featured a patented discharge expansion chamber and hence can be counted as a solid attempt)
- Amogh (struggling to make their own ammunition)
- Excalibur (adopted in small numbers) and Excalibur 2/3
- Trichy Assault Rifle (FAL's ******** child)
- Ghatak and AKM clone from OFB Kanput (Yay, reverse engineered AKM with no improvements, big whoop)
- Anamika 9 mm carbine (another reverse engineering project)
- 12 bore pump action shot gun

So who's working on our GPMG, HMG, Marksman rifle, 9 mm sidearm to replace Lacs of Browning hi power. Besides, how many prototpyes/concepts have they introduced in the last couple of decades since INSAS.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby srai » 03 Jun 2015 03:53

Thakur_B wrote:
Gyan wrote:Various divisions of OFB competing to design weapons like Ghatak is a good development


Contrary to my opinions w.r.t. other equipment, the record of ARDE and OFB with regards to small arms design, let alone manufacture, is horrible. Small arms development is a low hanging fruit that can be done on a shoestring budget. It's not the lack of finished products that is disappointing, it's a lack of prototypes and concepts that is more frightening. ARDE even more so than OFB.

Here's a total list of ARDE small arm projects since INSAS:
- 40 mm UBGL (heavier and larger than large majority of UBGLs out there)
- MCMC/JVPC/Milap
- MCIWS
- unknown LMG

Here's a total list of OFB small arm projects since INSAS:
- Vidhvansak (reverse engineered from Denel)
- Kalantak (not adopted but featured a patented discharge expansion chamber and hence can be counted as a solid attempt)
- Amogh (struggling to make their own ammunition)
- Excalibur (adopted in small numbers) and Excalibur 2/3
- Trichy Assault Rifle (FAL's ******** child)
- Ghatak and AKM clone from OFB Kanput (Yay, reverse engineered AKM with no improvements, big whoop)
- Anamika 9 mm carbine (another reverse engineering project)
- 12 bore pump action shot gun

So who's working on our GPMG, HMG, Marksman rifle, 9 mm sidearm to replace Lacs of Browning hi power. Besides, how many prototpyes/concepts have they introduced in the last couple of decades since INSAS.


Part of it has to do with availability of funds and requirements from the IA. If a project is not formally sanctioned and has to come from their own discretionary funds, then they won't be able to do too many projects with limited finances. As we all know the IA is a reluctant user when it comes to products from DRDO/OFB; so I can understand why the R&D labs wouldn't invest too much on a wide spectrum of weapons.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby vaibhav.n » 03 Jun 2015 09:29

The thing is small arms is just one of the things ARDE is involved in and one where they have had marginal success. ARDE's failure with the Carbine and LMG is also well documented.

Possibly some good will come of OFB taking control a la Dhanush if you will.

This is also one of the only industry where small family held companies proliferate rather than large corporations.

Gunsmiths spend years as apprentices to learn the intricacies. It is not an exact science.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Gyan » 03 Jun 2015 15:15

OFB also showed some posters of 12.7mm HMG (I think derived from T-72/T-90 HMG?) on a tripod. OFB has also showed posters of bolt action 7.62x51 mm Sniper rifle. The point is that the efforts of OFB lack adequate "grease" hence reach nowhere.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby chetak » 03 Jun 2015 15:36

srai wrote:
Thakur_B wrote:
{quote="Gyan"}Various divisions of OFB competing to design weapons like Ghatak is a good development{/quote}

Contrary to my opinions w.r.t. other equipment, the record of ARDE and OFB with regards to small arms design, let alone manufacture, is horrible. Small arms development is a low hanging fruit that can be done on a shoestring budget. It's not the lack of finished products that is disappointing, it's a lack of prototypes and concepts that is more frightening. ARDE even more so than OFB.

Here's a total list of ARDE small arm projects since INSAS:
- 40 mm UBGL (heavier and larger than large majority of UBGLs out there)
- MCMC/JVPC/Milap
- MCIWS
- unknown LMG

Here's a total list of OFB small arm projects since INSAS:
- Vidhvansak (reverse engineered from Denel)
- Kalantak (not adopted but featured a patented discharge expansion chamber and hence can be counted as a solid attempt)
- Amogh (struggling to make their own ammunition)
- Excalibur (adopted in small numbers) and Excalibur 2/3
- Trichy Assault Rifle (FAL's ******** child)
- Ghatak and AKM clone from OFB Kanput (Yay, reverse engineered AKM with no improvements, big whoop)
- Anamika 9 mm carbine (another reverse engineering project)
- 12 bore pump action shot gun

So who's working on our GPMG, HMG, Marksman rifle, 9 mm sidearm to replace Lacs of Browning hi power. Besides, how many prototpyes/concepts have they introduced in the last couple of decades since INSAS.


Part of it has to do with availability of funds and requirements from the IA. If a project is not formally sanctioned and has to come from their own discretionary funds, then they won't be able to do too many projects with limited finances. As we all know the IA is a reluctant user when it comes to products from DRDO/OFB; so I can understand why the R&D labs wouldn't invest too much on a wide spectrum of weapons.


The AK was actually designed to be made in small workshops from pressed steel thus aiding ease of manufacture.

Why did we not import a whole AK plant from some of the erstwhile east european countries who were really hard pressed for cold cash?? It would have been cost effective and would also have considerably shortened the steep learning curve.

We again missed the golden opportunity to import the complete Dornier 328 plant from the Dornier company in germany. It was for sale and on the cheap too. We make the Dornier 228 in HAL Kanpur.

We could have easily started our civil aircraft plans using that plant and the TOT as a stepping off platform instead of that useless, ugly and dangerous NAL designed, pusher monstrosity Saras.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby srin » 12 Jun 2015 20:33

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/fighting-without-equipment/article7306306.ece

In the last five years, the small arms profile of India’s paramilitary forces has emerged as significantly superior to that of the Army, which continues to struggle to acquire even basic weapons for its infantry units. Since 2010, the Army has operated without a carbine, and has been battling seemingly intractable Ministry of Defence (MoD) bureaucratic processes to procure one. It is also struggling with similar self-defeating and hidebound acquisition procedures to acquire an assault rifle. It is still years away from selecting one, let alone inducting it into service.

Succeeding Army chiefs have declared the procurement of both weapon systems to be ‘top priority’, but years later, following extended trials and interminable evaluations, this priority remains unfulfilled.

On the other hand, the central paramilitary forces have, over the same time frame, inducted a range of modern carbines and assault rifles into service. Undoubtedly, their numbers are fewer than the Army’s, but there is a procedural lesson for the Army in the relative swiftness with which the central paramilitary forces have shortlisted, evaluated, tested, and finally acquired the weapon systems.

Interminable processes
Ironically, instead of the bigger and more battle-hardened Army setting an example in small arms acquisitions, the opposite has been true, due largely to the central paramilitary forces’ less encumbered acquisition procedures and swifter decision-making processes. Since 2010-2011, the Border Security Force (BSF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have acquired some 34,377 ‘Storm’ MX-4 sub-machine guns from Italy’s Beretta, with under barrel grenade launchers (UBGLs) and around 68,000 AK-47 variant assault rifles from Bulgaria’s Arsenal. A follow-on order by the CRPF for 60,000-odd AK-47s is under acquisition. Other central paramilitary forces purchases include 2,540 Tavor X-95 carbines from Israel and over 12, 000 9mm MP-5 sub-machine guns from Germany, some of which have been disbursed to special state police units deployed in counter insurgency operations against Naxalites.

In comparison, the Indian Army’s unending saga of small arms acquisitions makes dismal telling. This is due to utter confusion in determining their qualitative requirements (QRs) and the inherent systemic inefficiencies for which the Army has to assume ownership. This time around, it cannot complain that the MoD deprived its soldiers of basic weaponry.

In December 2010, the Army issued a tender for 44,618 5.56mm close quarter battle (CQB) carbines and 33.6 million rounds of ammunition to replace its World War II vintage submachine guns, which even the Ordnance Factory had stopped producing. The trials featuring three vendors ended in end-2013. But the Army has yet to declare a winner, reportedly due to a handful of senior officers in the interminable procurement chain unduly favouring one carbine over the other for specious, almost laughable, reasons.

The tender requires a carbine weighing no more than 3kg to be capable of firing 600 rounds per minute, to a distance of 200 meters. It also requires the winning model to transfer technology to the Ordnance Factory to licence-build it in order to meet the Army’s requirement for over 2,00,000 CQB carbines. This number is expected to increase manifold.

However, the fear in military circles is that the petty differences in the Army’s selection team could well result in the tender being scrapped altogether. Retendering would take several more years, during which time the Army will have to operate without a carbine.

The assault rifles delay
The assault rifle procurement story is even more incomprehensible and alarming, as the Army is likely to scrap its 2011 tender for 66,000 multi-calibre assault rifles, after four overseas vendors failed to meet its requirements in trials that concluded last November.

The Army’s tender required the modular assault rifles to switch from 7.62x39mm to 5.56x45mm for employment in defensive and suppressive fire roles, merely by changing their barrels and magazines. The selected system was to have replaced the Defence Research and Development Organisation-designed assault rifle, which the Army had stated was ‘operationally inadequate’ in 2010, after using it on sufferance for years.

The shortlisted rifle, like the CQB carbine, was also to be licence-built by the OFB to meet the Army’s immediate operational requirement for over 2,20,000 assault rifles. Four models participated in trials at Bakloh cantonment near Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh and at Hoshairpur in Punjab, from August 2014 onwards. All four rifles failed to meet the Army’s QRs for various reasons.

Official sources indicated that retrials were unlikely, and that after four years of wasted effort, the Army now plans to draw up fresh QRs for a single calibre rifle, in all likelihood a 7.62x39mm, which has a shorter range than its 5.56x45mm calibre equivalent that is in use with most of the world’s armies. It will then send out a request for information for the new rifle, before re-tendering several months later. Thereafter, it will navigate the time-consuming process of technical evaluation, user trials and shortlisting, followed by price negotiations, a process lasting three to four years.

Poor alternative
The MoD is also believed to be considering the alternative proposal of abandoning the import of both the carbine and assault rifle and manufacturing them locally under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ enterprise. But this will also entail time-consuming procedures, necessitating a private or public sector-led joint venture with an overseas original equipment manufacturer, again selected after extensive trials. Such an enterprise would, doubtless, necessitate the import of a certain number of weapon systems before their licensed production by the JV begins much later.

Army officers have warned that such delays severely compromise the operational efficiency of infantry units, especially those deployed in counter-insurgency operations, as they are forced to employ INSAS rifles against the superior weaponry of militants in Kashmir and the Northeast. Meanwhile, even the sniper rifles used in the paramilitary forces are more contemporary and advanced than the Army’s Soviet-era Dragunov SVD gas-operated, semi-automatic models acquired in the 80s.

Attempts to import around 1,000 sniper rifles for the Army’s Special Forces in 2010-11 under the Fast Track Procurement route proved fruitless and have been abandoned, even though the requirement remains a priority. An Army team led by a two-star officer conducted comparative trials in Israel (for IWI’s semi-automatic Galil sniper rifle), Finland (for Beretta’s SAKO TRG-22/24 bolt action model) and the U.S. (for Sig Sauers 3000 magazine-fed rifle), but with no results.

Unfortunately, even such specialist rifles, which can potentially alter not only the course of battles and politics but even history, remain victims of Army apathy.

(Rahul Bedi is a defence analyst.)

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby SaiK » 13 Jun 2015 23:49

[img] http://www.teqzy.com/wp-content/uploads ... 709410.jpg[img]
Anyone who’s played first person shooter games knows how dangerous it is to shoot around corners. The realities of this in modern warfare couldn’t be more serious, especially for soldiers fighting in urban settings or against guerilla forces. The CornerShot has a steel hinge so that the weapon can bend and shoot. The shooter views the target using a high resolution camera and and LCD monitor. This weapon in in service now and is a powerful tool that is also equipped with a grenade launcher.http://www.teqzy.com/technology/10-futu ... warfare/2/


it would so cool if it can bend and rotate to any angle.

this would be the need of the hour weapon for counter-terror ops

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Thakur_B » 14 Jun 2015 04:51

SaiK wrote:this would be the need of the hour weapon for counter-terror ops

Image

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Austin » 21 Jun 2015 09:42


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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Sid » 22 Jun 2015 20:26

SaiK wrote:it would so cool if it can bend and rotate to any angle.

this would be the need of the hour weapon for counter-terror ops


Such weapons are not very accuracy, but gives a huge advantage in terms of element of surprise.

A UBGL or high powered gun on coroner shot will flip the weapon out of operators hand due to massive recoil in a direction which they cannot control.

Corer-shot needs specialized weapons with their recoil somehow compensated (in angled mode) to make them more manageable.

Original version used to show Glock, which I think was good enough for CQB. But later version with UBGL and assault rifles seems too much to handle.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Cosmo_R » 23 Jun 2015 23:13

On a general note, connecting the make in India push with the woes of Colt Industries

http://kitup.military.com/2013/02/army- ... ct-fn.html

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/ ... bankruptcy

There is an 'auction' scheduled for August. Colt makes some interesting stuff.

http://www.colt.com/Catalog/Military/Products.aspx

http://www.colt.com/Catalog/LawEnforcem ... ducts.aspx

If only Kalyani/Mahendra et al. would see the possibilities given the total inability of OFB to deliver a single world class rifle.

With Colt in such dire straits, even a newly minted MBA can 'engineer' a make in India solution for Colt which leave 75% plus in Indian hands in India.

Oh! and BTW, it would be greeted with joy in the US.

JMT

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby pankajs » 01 Jul 2015 13:57

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/army ... 48193.html
Army scraps the world's largest assault rifle tender

In a setback to the Indian soldier's quest for a reliable assault rifle, the Army has scrapped a four-year-old tender for purchasing 1.8 lakh weapons. In a June 15 letter to the four short-listed international firms, the Army said it was retracting the Rs 4,848-crore contract.

In 2011, the Army floated a contract to supply Multi-Caliber Assault Rifles (MCAR) for the Army and the Navy to replace the existing INSAS rifles. An initial 65,678 assault rifles and 4,680 under barrel grenade launchers were to be procured off the shelf for Rs 2,500 crore. With over 1 lakh more rifles to be built by the Ordnance Factory Board through technology transfer, it was the world's largest such rifle contract.

The scrapping of the seven-year quest is a setback to the Army's modernisation plans. Army chief general Dalbir Singh had, in January this year, identified assault rifles as one of 20 'critical requirements' including bulletproof jackets and artillery guns for the Army. The Army cannot blame anyone but itself.

The rifle quest began with the Army's unhappiness with the indigenous 5.56 mm INSAS assault rifle which entered service in the late 1990s. But the solution to the INSAS's quality issues was to ask for a weapon so expensive with specifications so outlandish that it raised questions on the Army's competence in framing General Staff Qualitative Requirements.

The Army wanted a rifle with interchangeable barrels firing different calibers, the 5.56 mm INSAS round and the 7.62 mm AK-47 round. The requirement originated in the present practice of soldiers in counterinsurgency operations using AK-47s and switching over to INSAS rifles in peace stations. Army officials say the specifications were deeply flawed.

Five international firms - Beretta of Italy, Israeli Weapons Industries (IWI), Colt Defense of the US, Ceska Zbplojovka of Czech Republic - were shortlisted. All the weapons they presented for the trials were prototypes, meaning, none of them were actually in service with their respective armies.

The contract appeared doomed right at the start in 2012 when the Army first delayed the technical evaluation of the rifles. Companies then began asking for extensions for sample submission. As of 2015, no trials of the competing weapons were conducted. A whiff of corruption accompanied the contract. It was speculated that the GSQRs were tailor-made by Army brass to favour one of the vendors.

Another concern the Army had was cost. At over Rs 2 lakh a piece, each multi-caliber assault rifle with a conversion kit cost twice the price of a regular imported assault rifle and six times the cost of a Rs 35,000 OFB-made INSAS rifle.

A General called the MCAR contract the equivalent of equipping a mass transport taxi service with Mercedes S-class saloons. Major General Mrinal Suman (retired) says the failure of the rifle contract shows the Army's deeply flawed system of framing GSQRs. "Just because you drive a car for 20 years does not give you the capability to design one.

Acquisition staff are neither trained nor equipped to select weapons," he says. Experts say it will now take the Army at least five years to acquire rifles. The infantryman's wait continues.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby vaibhav.n » 01 Jul 2015 14:31

Just select the Tavor or X-95 and be done with it. I dunno how long will this farce play. Multi caliber can come later with add on kits.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby uddu » 01 Jul 2015 18:14

:)

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby uddu » 01 Jul 2015 18:17


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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby member_22539 » 01 Jul 2015 19:48

Is there no news about the MCIWS? Would really dig some good news on that front, particularly since the gold plated AR has been given up.

I am hoping that no news is good news.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby SaiK » 02 Jul 2015 02:02

Putting the Indian Army's desire to import assault rifles in perspective
http://m.ibnlive.com/blogs/india/saurav ... 48529.html

Saurav Jha


Not all Armies in the world fight with a domestically developed standard issue rifle. The Indian Army (IA) however is not one of them and for the past two decades has been equipped with the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) built and Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) designed INSAS family of rifles. Nevertheless in a bid to acquire a rifle suited to 'modern battlefields' IA is looking for a next generation assault rifle with modular, multi-calibre characteristics whereby the same basic lower receiver can fire bullets of different calibre through a rapid field change of barrel, bolt carrier group (BCG) and of course the magazine. IA's current approach to procuring this purported new species of assault rifle (AR) for its infantrymen seems two pronged. On the one hand IA has rolled out a tender for an AR of imported design that it intends to get licensed produced by OFB while on the other it is watching the progress of indigenous efforts to develop a next generation multi calibre individual weapon system (MCIWS). IA however should not let the pursuit of 'next gen' over ride reliability and cost considerations. After all, both modernized and unmodernised versions of the venerable AKM series continue to be the main rifle equipping its insurgent adversaries even in 'modern settings'. And the old H&K G-3 is the Pakistani standard issue with the Chinese opting for the bull-up QBZ-95 which isn't exactly the greatest thing after cheese either.

IA's move to obtain a modular (subsuming multi-calibre into modular for simplicity) AR as its new standard infantry weapon began in 2011 when it sent out request for proposals (RFPS) to some forty small arms manufacturers across the world. This tender is for an initial 66,000 rifles supplied off the shelf followed by the license manufacture of at least an additional 100000 units domestically in India. Unsurprisingly, a tender of this size has attracted interest from some of biggest names in the world who incidentally have been exhibiting modular developments of their 'stock' offerings for some time now.

The modular concept for assault rifles increasingly revolves around the ability to 'rapidly' switch between the ability to fireNATO 5.56 X 45 mm,Eastern Bloc 7.62x 39 mm,the older NATO 7.62 x51and even emerging 6.8 mm and 6.5 mm rounds. This need to an extent has grown out of the experiences of NATO 'special forces' operators in the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan wherein the standard 5.56 x 45 mm round was found to have inadequate 'stopping power' against determined insurgents in various scenarios. Equipped with carbine derivatives of NATO AR families which fire the 5.56 mm round optimized for accuracy at short ranges and full auto mode fire, these operators often found themselves at a disadvantage vis a vis insurgents firing heavier 7.62 x 39 mmAKM rounds (albeit not that accurately) from further away.

Of course this is somewhat counter to the dominant thinking of the past forty years wherein studies showed that maximum kill ratios were achieved through the use of a greater number of bullets in combat rather than accuracy at range or stopping power. Indeed this was the raison behind the development of the 5.56 mm round in the first place since it is lighter and enables a soldier to carry more rounds than if equipped with7.62 mm bullets. (There is the whole, the lighter bullet tumbles through the body, incapacitation etc etc debate besides other arguments, but I am not getting in there).

The IA of course is no stranger to such issues and it is noteworthy that it prefers AKM derivatives firing the Eastern bloc 7.62 mm in the counter-insurgency role. However for standard infantry combat the IA continues to favour the NATO 5.56 mm especially with newer more effective 5.56 mm bullets under development. Modularity therefore seems attractive to IA since it could 'optimize' its infantry firearm kit depending on the situation since the same units may be tasked with varying assignments in different geographical settings.

Indeed modularity obviously also allows barrels of different lengthsto be used thereby allowing soldiers to customize their rifles for environments ranging from close quarter battle to long range shooting in open terrain. At the moment long range shooting in say a desert like environment is mostly the preserve of snipers and 'designated marksmen' armed with rifles firing high power 7.62 mm rounds either of NATO or Eastern Bloc standard. Of course, 50 calibre rifles have also proliferated in recent times.

The development of modular versions of established AR families therefore has evoked interest in IA which has narrowed down the respondents to three contenders currently undergoing comparative trials. The competitors at the moment are IWI's Galil Ace, Colt's CM-901 Modular Carbine(CMC) and Beretta's ARX-160 with Sig-Sauer USA failing to show up for the competitive trials with SIG-516 family. Interestingly both initial flag bearers of the modular concept Heckler & Koch with its HK-416/417 and FabriqueNationale with its SCAR-L Mk.16 have been found unsuitable in Indian conditions despite these rifles already being in limited use with NATO special forces.

Among the remaining rifles, leading the modularity sweepstakes is probably the CMC (assuming that is what has been sent for trials and not just a standard M-4) which offers a mind-boggling array of 'combinations' utilizing a proprietary universal lower receiver that allows rapid reconfiguration of calibre, barrel lengths and even operating system. Colt claims that the CMC truly eliminates the need for training on non-standard weapons by infantrymen, something that the IA obviously desires given the fact that its soldiers use AKMs and Vz58s for the counter-insurgency role.

However the CMC is primarily a direct gas infringement (although a hybrid gas operated version may be available as well) weapon having descended from the AR-15 family and therefore its actual reliability in varied Indian conditions remains to be seen.

The gas operated ARX-160 too boasts 'quick change' capability (although Colt would claim that quick change and modularity are not interchangeable concepts) with its ambidextrous ejector and extractor systems that allow rapid barrel and BCG change without the need to handle any pins. The ARX-160 also features at least three ways in which magazine change could be effected including a mode which replicates the operation of a standard AKM.

The ARX-160 also seems to sit well with IA's RFP, since the new rifles have to be capable of hosting an under barrel grenade launcher (UBGL). The 'SoldatoFuturo' program under which the ARX-160 was developed also saw the accompanying creation of the Beretta GLX-160 detachable low impulse/low velocity UBGL which claims to be superior to the standard American issue M203 which will probably accompany the CMC.

Nevertheless the Galil ACE is actually the only remaining specific rifle(I am not counting myriad AR-15 derivatives) in this contest which is being produced under license in a country other than Israel i.e its point of origin. After all this tender is ultimately about the level of technology transfer that the winning foreign firm would be willing to make to the Indian licensee. Galil ACE is already being produced under license by Indumil in Colombia and is reported to be very popular in the South American market.

Now all the rifles under consideration feature MIL-STD-1913 picatinny rail systems mounting a variety of optics, optional polymer magazines and ambidextrous safety/selector switch, bolt catch hold-open/release lever, and magazine release buttons. Indeed these are standard features on any rifle for IA's envisaged 'modern battlefield'.

These foreign designs however do come at a very significant price and IA's current tender has been reported to be anywhere between 250 million to a billion US dollars. The higher figure probably includes the license production component, as well as the cost of imported ammunition and perhaps even UBGLs. Nevertheless, these reported figures are rather high when compared with modular rifle competitions being run by other armies. For instance the British Army looking to retire the SA-80 is in the market for 200,000 units of a modular AR system with a reported tender value of only 160-165 million dollars.

The much higher figures reported for IA's purchase plans are therefore either incorrect or point to the massive royalty payments that international arms manufacturers are seeking for technology transfer obligations. It is at this point that IA needs to ask itself whether replacing an INSAS rifle costing between Rs 15-20,000 at last count with an imported rifle quoted at 6-8 times that figure is really worth the trouble. Do note, that the civilian version of the Beretta ARX-160, the ARX-100, retails at a starting price of $1950 in the United States.

Now imported designs don't always fare as well as they are touted to under Indian conditions and product support from foreign sources can also be iffy. For instance, the Home Ministry's import of over 34000 Beretta MX4 storm sub-machine guns hasn't exactly panned out too well with numerous defects and corrosion marks being found in delivered batches leading to disquiet amongst Border Security Force troops issued with these weapons.

There is no denying that the INSAS rifle family needs development but then that also falls within the lookout of IA itself, which is a key stakeholder in the entire process. As Major General (retd.) Bhupendra Yadav, who has long years of experience with the Department of Defence Production (DDP) in the Ministry of Defence and has a PhD in Operations Management to boot, says 'At the time of introduction in the 1990s it was universally felt that we had a good design on our hands.'

'The issues with the INSAS are known to be on the production side of things,'he continues.'Even there the defects have been identified and should simply have beenrectified with the Army taking the necessary initiative to make the other stakeholders work on this path. After all what exactly are the Master General of Ordnance(MGO) and Director General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) there for anyway? The Army can't suddenly take a standoffish attitude on this and just look abroad.' General Yadav adds emphatically.For those who came late, on OFB's special/extended board are included the MGO and DGQA who are senior serving officers appointed by IA specifically'to represent the users and their interest on quality aspects.' These two gentlemen are supposed get the job done on quality control aspects related to production by OFB.

Now, IA as we can see has been trying to get its next generation infantry weapon for over three years now with no real hope of wrapping up the process anytime soon. As per General Yadav, the time already spent in the process of 'downselecting' imported types since 2011, was more than adequate to develop the next iteration of the INSAS and fix issues with it provided there was sufficient will. '3-4 years gives you enough time to upgrade the INSAS to satisfactory levels,' General Yadav remarks. Although hypothetical, a re-look can be taken at something like the Excalibur, a modernized development based on the INSAS which IA has been rather lukewarm too.

Interestingly, as yet another import tender drags along, one finds articles beginning to make their way into the media exhorting the military to expedite the process, such as this piece in the Hindu the other day (http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/th ... 174395.ece). But such articles often make somewhat outlandish claims about performance of indigenously developed weapons that naturally does not go down well with DRDO. Indeed in reply to the Hindu article which claimed that the INSAS apparently doesn't do so well in the Himalayas and hot deserts, DRDO had this to say.

'The trials covered all possible scenarios that a gun of this kind(i.e. INSAS) could encounter or could be imagined to encounter and included sub-zero temperatures at the world's highest located battlefields, the most humid wetlands as well as extreme hot deserts. The gun is available in four variants namely rifle and light machine gun, each in fixed and fold-able butt versions, and offers the option of attaching an Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) for launching high explosive grenades upto 400 metres away. The gun makes extensive use of engineering plastics and high strength alloys to withstand boththe rigors of the battlefield as well as varied climates.By 2010, more than a million such guns and more than 1.5 billion rounds of ammunition had been produced and supplied to India's armed forces. It is important to note that while the project cost was merely Rs 3.5 crores, INSAS system had turned over business worth more than Rs 6000 crores by 2010 itself.'

There's no denying that the return on investment on indigenous weapons produced in bulk can be very significant owing to much lower developmental costs. This is precisely one of the reasons why indigenous options in general tend to be cheaper than foreign ones. It should also be noted, that IA wants the very same OFB units to produce the final downselected imported design that have had quality control issues with the INSAS line. It really begs the question as to exactly how OFB units will produce these new next gen imported designs requiring superior machining and finer tolerances to IA's exacting quality standards when they apparently did not always do the same when it came to the INSAS?

Truth be told, there isn't really that urgent an operational requirement for the fanciest new rifles now is there? Because if that indeed be the case, why is IA still at the comparative trial stage for a process it officially began in 2011 with no real end in sight? Given the problems with foreign procurement that is neither cheap nor timely it is time to seriously look at indigenous options again.

Especially at a time when DRDO's home-grown MCIWS is 'out of the stovepipe and into the light' undergoing technical trials. The MCIWS revealed for the first time right here on 'Geek at Large' earlier this year (http://ibnlive.in.com/blogs/sauravjha/2 ... -drdo.html) is an indigenous attempt at a contemporary modular AR exhibiting all the features possessed by the rifles currently in contention for IA's next gen requirement.

Interestingly an indigenous 6.8 mm round has also been developed for use with the MCIWS. The MCIWS' grenade launcher can also fire programmable air burst rounds making it a tie-in for the F-INSAS program. Instead of handing out massive royalties to foreign weapon makers the IA could well decide by putting its weight behind the iterative development of the MCIWS.

Moreover, let DRDO select a production agency(could be from the private sector) for itselfas far as the MCIWSis concerned and give it the option of exporting the weapon irrespective of whether it finds favour with the Indian military or not. If downright imports are 'moral' then downright 'exports' are moral too. Indeed liberalization in this arena should be a two-way street with various classes of FDI allowed and various categories of outright exports allowed too.

And let's not forget OFB either, which warts and all has serious potential and has delivered in the past when there has been 'clarity amongst stakeholders' like in the case of the 105mm Indian Field Gun that continues to be procured by IA even today. Let them upgrade their game in the face of competition. And let the best option win on a proper cost-benefit evaluation based on sustainability, economy and quality with national interest foregrounded.

Follow SauravJha on twitter @SJha1618

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby vaibhav.n » 02 Jul 2015 02:51

Truth be told, there isn't really that urgent an operational requirement for the fanciest new rifles now is there? Because if that indeed be the case, why is IA still at the comparative trial stage for a process it officially began in 2011 with no real end in sight? Given the problems with foreign procurement that is neither cheap nor timely it is time to seriously look at indigenous options again.


Apologist article, The IA and PMF's have been waiting for ARDE to pump out the golden goose for decades now. Every COAS from VK Singh onwards has listed new Assault Rifles as a crucial requirement.

How long should people continue to die for ineptness??

And let the best option win on a proper cost-benefit evaluation based on sustainability, economy and quality with national interest foregrounded.


:rotfl: :rotfl: ....Very dandy to throw in words like economy, sustainability and national interest.

Most good assault rifles are in the 2000$ range MRP. Even at INR 120,000 per rifle, for 500,000 rifles the entire programme would not cost more than 6000 crores.

Pittance, when a single submarine costs the same nowadays.........


"We have sent a proposal to the government that all Insas rifles with the force be replaced by AK rifles. The Insas has a problem of jamming. Compared to AK and X-95 guns, Insas fails far more frequently. While the error percentage in AK guns is 0.02%, in Insas it is 3%," CRPF DG Dilip Trivedi



CRPF jawans of the 197 Battalion requested that the INSAS rifles be replaced with AK-47 or SLRs . The jawans had complained that INSAS require a lot of maintenance and are not sturdy in comparison to SLR (7.62 mm) or the AK-47.


The former Defence Minister, A.K. Antony, was forced into admitting in Parliament in late 2012 that the INSAS rifles had been overtaken by “technological development” — a euphemism for a poorly designed weapon system.
Last edited by vaibhav.n on 02 Jul 2015 11:23, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby member_22539 » 02 Jul 2015 04:58

vaibhav.n wrote:Apologist article, The IA and PMF's have been waiting for ARDE to pump out the golden goose for decades now. Every COAS from VK Singh onwards has listed new Assault Rifles as a crucial requirement.


Who told you that? Do you have any documentation to prove that the IA was "waiting" for ARDE to give them the new super duper gun?

There was an FINSAS program, which initially included the AR as well, but later the AR part was conveniently dropped by the IA.

But all this while these evaluations and trials for foreign weapons were ongoing. Does that sound like IA "waiting" for the ARDE?

Also, how many people have died due to the "obsolescence" of the INSAS? Were these soldiers killed by the AKM wielding porki terrorists (we all know how advanced the AKM is) or were they killed by the G3 wielding porki solider at the LOC (another rifle that MUST be advanced, after-all its German)?

In spite of IA's ardent "waiting" and all the tender love and care and help they have provided for the ARDE efforts to create a new AR, the MCIWS is being developed. Perhaps the reason why we have generals scrambling to buy a gold plated super duper AR from abroad (with all the fringe benefits that come with that).

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby ramana » 02 Jul 2015 05:03

Arun Menon regardless the jam rate of INSAS is not good and some tolerance study to clear up the design is needed.
By now it must be cleaned up.
Also the 5.56mm cartridge was adopted as a result of Vietnam era US experience. The Afghan jihad and all others have shown it doesn't have killing power. So main combat troops can still retain the 5.56 mm(for commonality with LMG) but RR type should have the 7.62mm based weapons.
These barrel change boondoggle is not useful.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby member_22539 » 02 Jul 2015 05:30

^Sure, but it should be remedied by adopting a homegrown product, not some gold plated import. I would rather they spent that money on night vision/gadgets and BPJs for the soldiers (where is the urgency for that?).

INSAS may have some problems, but they have come mostly from bad quality control at OFB level (they even have hand engraved serial numbers with the kind of engraver that people use to mark names on metal utensils we buy). Buying a white elephant of an AR and then having the same OFB produce them (with no system reforms) is not a solution to anything.

The way I see it the IA should put its weight behind the MCIWS rather than go drool over imports (regardless of the fringe benefits).

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Thakur_B » 02 Jul 2015 07:09

vaibhav.n wrote:
Apologist article, The IA and PMF's have been waiting for ARDE to pump out the golden goose for decades now. Every COAS from VK Singh onwards has listed new Assault Rifles as a crucial requirement.

How long should people continue to die for ineptness??


Vaibhav, you can check older interviews. The multi caliber assault rifle QSRs were not given to DRDO when the army started the process of purchase.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby vaibhav.n » 02 Jul 2015 07:42

Thakur,

They don't need to, despite other opinions on the forum. The IA still remains the only service which shares its long-term perspective plans and Capital Acquisition Plan with the DRDO, less the armoured corps chaps that is...

We both know the entire story with the LMG and carbine, the rifle is not the actual primary problem area. ARDE virtually abandoned the carbine. LMG after a 5000 odd production run due to persistent issues.

Right now when a quick proven solution is what is required for all the three.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby srin » 02 Jul 2015 09:39

ramana wrote:Arun Menon regardless the jam rate of INSAS is not good and some tolerance study to clear up the design is needed.
By now it must be cleaned up.
Also the 5.56mm cartridge was adopted as a result of Vietnam era US experience. The Afghan jihad and all others have shown it doesn't have killing power. So main combat troops can still retain the 5.56 mm(for commonality with LMG) but RR type should have the 7.62mm based weapons.
These barrel change boondoggle is not useful.


IA has been doing counter-insurgency in North-east since sixties. I don't know about the history of INSAS but either army issued GSQR for 5.56 NATO caliber or DRDO produced one on their own and forced army to accept it. Which one is true ?

The second issue is fully automatic fire. "Ek goli, ek dushman" is all fine, but there is still a place for suppressive fire. So how was it missed ? Was it something IA asked for that DRDO didn't accept or something that wasn't in the GSQR in the first place ?

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby SaiK » 02 Jul 2015 09:50

vaibhav.n, can you please credit the author than quote me? it appears that I am playing with plagiarism..

btw, I did tweet to the author that I'd posting here in BRF ahead.. so he knows on the full text.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby member_22539 » 02 Jul 2015 09:52

vaibhav.n wrote:They don't need to


Of course they do. To do so otherwise is for the DRDO to spend money on a project that has not been requested by the IA and regardless of the success or failure of that project's intended goals, to have IA whimsically dismiss it as unnecessary, only to import a similar product from a foreign company at gold plated prices a few years later.

For this effort the DRDO and the scientists who took the initiative would be crucified by the CAG and their careers will be left to rot.

Why would anyone risk their skin for such dismissive/contemptuous customers?

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby vaibhav.n » 02 Jul 2015 11:40

The Infanrty Dte after IPKF asked for standardised 5.56 NATO platform for the rifle, carbine and LMG to enable troops to carry more rounds into battle, provide burst fire and a common cartridge capability for the rifle and full auto for the carbine to replace the 9mm Sterling.

OFB had problems manufacturing the NATO round and later DRDO introduced a longer 5.56 round to overcome those.

Two things happened ; ARDE could not overcome propellant issues on the carbine and gave up and recurring issue with the LMG.

I don't understand this fetish to reward failure with more contracts. When an arm is made to wait 20 years for a carbine all for how did the author put it...yyess....national interest.

Fine example indeed....

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby member_22539 » 02 Jul 2015 12:17

vaibhav.n wrote:arm is made to wait 20 years for a carbine


Maybe that arm should have worked with the locals who could make them what they need rather than drool over gold plated foreign products that come with fringe benefits.

Instead they treated them with contempt, actively discouraging every attempt made by them, only giving token evaluations that never lead to anything.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby srin » 02 Jul 2015 12:20

I thought INSAS used the same NATO size round - 5.56x45, no ? Is it a different, longer round ?

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby ramana » 03 Jul 2015 00:18

srin wrote:I thought INSAS used the same NATO size round - 5.56x45, no ? Is it a different, longer round ?



http://ofbindia.gov.in/products/data/we ... add_31.htm

5.56X 30 for carbine. INSAS uses 5.56 X 45

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby nachiket » 03 Jul 2015 01:13

ramana wrote:
srin wrote:I thought INSAS used the same NATO size round - 5.56x45, no ? Is it a different, longer round ?



http://ofbindia.gov.in/products/data/we ... add_31.htm

5.56X 30 for carbine. INSAS uses 5.56 X 45


But which is this longer round that vaibhav is talking about? He wasn't talking about the Carbine round which is smaller.

OFB had problems manufacturing the NATO round and later DRDO introduced a longer 5.56 round to overcome those.


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