Rifle specs tweak to save Army Rs 6,000 crP
Rifle specs tweak to save Army Rs 6,000 cr

Rifle specs tweak to save Army Rs 6,000 crP

Sep 06,2018 SOURCE: Tribune News Service

Indian Army’s “tweak” to lower the specifications of a new assault rifle is expected to save some Rs 6,000 crore. On August 31, a tender to procure 6.50 lakh assault rifles was issued with brand new specifications seeking a 7.62×39 mm rifle.This is fourth change in seven years. The Tribune had on September 1 highlighted as to how the Army had last year floated tender seeking rifles of higher specification i.e. 7.62×51 mm and changed the specifications. Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, while addressing officers at a closed-door meeting on September 1, had explained that rifles with higher specifications would have cost Rs 2 lakh per weapon, whereas the version with lower specifications will cost one-fourth the amount. “This will ensure overall savings of about Rs 6,000 crore,” General Rawat was quoted as saying by a functionary who attended the meeting. The fresh tender on August 31 had raised questions as the Ministry of Defence in January 2017, following a request by the Army citing a “changed operational philosophy”, approved a 7.62×51 mm rifle. The procurement process is currently on for 72,400 such rifles from foreign sources. A team of experts has checked out new rifles and is now compiling its report. The Army currently uses the INSAS rifle (5.6x46mm) that is a three-decade-old design. Separately, General Rawat, at the meeting, also assured officers that with increased spending on ammunition, the Army would soon achieve self-sufficiency in production and supply of ammunition. 4th change in 7 yrs In its tender last year, the Army had sought 7.62×51 mm rifles that would have cost Rs 2 lakh each On August 31, 2018, a fresh Army tender listed demand for 6.50 lakh assault rifles with lower specification i.e. 7.62×39 mm Each rifle will now cost one-fourth the amount. This is fourth change in seven years