Indian Army intends to double its 72,000 Sig Sauer assault rifles

At a time when India and China are locked in a tense border dispute in eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army is laying the groundwork to buy an additional 72,000 Sig Sauer assault rifles for its troops from the United States, people familiar with the development said on Sunday.

By Rahul Singh (Edited by Sohini Sarkar)
SOURCE: Hindustan Times

This proposed purchase follows an order for 72,400 assault rifles placed with the US last year, and is expected to be made by invoking a key clause in India’s arms buying rules that governs speeding up purchases to meet urgent requirements, said one of the officials cited above.

India signed the previous order worth Rs 700 crore in early 2019 and the deliveries of all the rifles have been completed. That order was also made through the fast track procedure (FTP) prescribed in India’s defence procurement rules.

The Sig Sauer rifles are being bought to meet the army’s requirement of a total of 8 lakh assault rifles, said a second official. The new assault rifles will gradually replace the flaw-ridden 5.56mm INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) rifles inducted around 22 years ago.