Finally! Indian Army is going modern with its ammo

Finally! Indian Army is going modern with its ammoIn the recent past, Indian Army has successfully conducted two cross-border surgical strikes, one in Myanmar in June 2015 and then in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in September 2016. It’s high time now that Indian army takes the long-delayed route to modernise its Special Forces, and looks like it’s about to happen.

Also read: Indian Army has less life protecting equipments than Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

Sources told ET that Defence ministry has issued "restricted" tenders to select foreign arms companies so that it can acquire new assault rifles, sniper rifles, general purpose machine guns, light-weight rocket-launchers, tactical shotguns, pistols, night-vision devices and ammunition.

"Seven tenders or RFPs (request for proposals) were issued last week to American, Israeli, Swedish and other companies for acquisition of the specialised weaponry on a fast-track basis. Separately in a different capital acquisition project, trials are in progress to acquire over 120 light strike vehicles, which can be carried by helicopters, for the Special Forces," claimed a source.

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It was only recently that India had inked a few rushed deals for ammunition and spares, costing around Rs 20,000 crore, for all three branches viz. the Army, Navy and Air Force. This was done to make sure that the forces were ready to go to battle at short notice, and sustain the high-tempo operations for at least 10 days.

Talking of the elite Special Forces, out of the 1.3-million strong Indian Army, there are only nine Para-Special Forces and five Para (Airborne) battalions. Each of these has 620 soldiers, selected after rigorous training.

The small count of these forces mean that the costs involved in these new acquisitions is lesser as compared to the ones meant for army on the whole. Moreover, the Special Forces already have specialised weaponry, ranging from Israeli 5.56mm TAR-21 Tavor assault rifles and 7.62mm Galil sniper rifles to American M4A1 carbines and Swedish Carl Gustav rocket launchers.

However, it was during the cross-border raids in Myanmar that the need for lighter, new-generation weapons was felt. Even though the Indian commandos carried huge weapon loads and quietly crossed over six km of the thickly-forested terrain, the Army conveyed the need of lighter equipment to top political authorities.

(Image source: Indiatimes)