Having already received and deployed the first lot of around 72,500 Sig Sauer assault rifles from the US for counter-terrorists operations, the new batch of these assault rifles would be given to the soldiers deployed on the front with China in Eastern Ladakh.
A recent Defence Acquisition Council held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi government approved the acquisition of the second batch of around 72,500 Sig Sauer assault rifles from America under fast track procedures for the Army.
“The first lot of these assault rifles was provided to the troops deployed in the counter-terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir. The second lot of the guns would be for the troops deployed on the China front in Eastern Ladakh and other areas,” government sources told ANI.
The idea is to provide the best of equipment facing the enemy on the frontline, they said.
The new rifles will replace the existing Indian Small Arms System (Insas) 5.56x45mm rifles used by the forces and manufactured locally by the Ordnance Factories Board.
As per the plan, around 1.5 lakh imported rifles were to be used by the troops in the counter-terrorism operations and frontline duties on the Line of Control (LoC) and the newly-activated Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The remaining forces would be provided with the AK-203 rifles, which are to be produced jointly by India and Russia at the Amethi ordnance factory.
Amid the ongoing dispute with China over the boundary issue, the Indian Army is going to place another order of 72,000 Sig 716 assault rifles from the United States.
The Indian Army had been trying to replace their standard INSAS assault rifles for many years but the attempts failed due to one reason or the other.
Recently, the Defence Ministry placed an order of 16,000 light machine guns (LMGs) from Israel to do away with the shortage of these guns.