Personal Weapons Procurement Worth Rs 9,435 Crore Approved For Army, Navy And IAF

| March 1 , 2018 , 08:16 IST

The Ministry of Defence on Wednesday approved procurement of personal weapons such as assault rifles, light machine guns and carbines worth Rs 9,435 crore for the Army, Navy and the Indian Air Force. The personal weapons are carried with each solider in operational areas, and the government admitted that the current lack of quality and quantity personal weapons was worrisome.

"The vintage of personal weapons—assault rifles, close-quarter battle carbines and light machine guns—operated by troops of the three services, especially by soldiers positioned on borders and in areas affected by militancy has been a concern for over a decade,” said a ministry statement.

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“The government has been conscious of the requirement to modernize basic fighting weapons and has therefore accorded utmost priority to them,” the statement added.

According to the ministry, 75 percent of the required products would be procured from Indian firms and that the requirement of personal weapons for troops in operational areas would be addressed through a fast-track process. The minimum time period to begin the procurement of the weapons would take 18 to 36 months, while the completion of the orders would take more than 3 years.  

However, the approval of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) does not refer to direct purchase, as tenders would be notified and issued before the manufacturers are selected and contracted to set up the production lines for lines for 41,000 light machine guns and 3,50,000 rifles and carbines.

“With the approval of these two proposals, the government has cleared procurement of the entire range of personal weapons for the three services,” said the note issued after the DAC meeting chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.