Infantry Weapons

India to put assault rifle contenders through winter trials

04 August 2013

The Indian Army is expected to begin long-delayed high-altitude winter trials of five 5.56x45 mm assault rifles in northern Kashmir's Leh region.

The army is choosing from Italy's Beretta ARX160; the Czech Republic's Czeca CZ 805 BREN; Israel Weapon Industries' ACE 1 - a variant of its ACE rifle; and two US contenders: the SIG Sauer SG551 and what Colt calls the Colt Combat Rifle - a variant of the M16A1 designed for the Indian requirement.

After the winter trials they will undergo summer trials in 2014 at Pokhran in the Rajasthan desert.

The selected rifle will replace the locally developed Indian Small Arms System 5.56x45 mm rifle, which the army rejected in 2010-11 due to it being inefficient and "operationally troublesome".

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