The Indian Army (IA) has finalised plans for its long-delayed acquisition of about 800,000 assault rifles, deciding to procure both imported and indigenously developed weapons.
IA Chief of Staff General Bipin Rawat told the Business Standard newspaper on 4 November that the service plans to acquire around 250,000 7.62x51 mm rifles from overseas manufacturers for its frontline infantry units.
The remaining units, who are not in direct contact with enemy forces, are to be equipped with 550,000-odd indigenous rifles.
“My thinking is that, since a state-of-the-art assault rifle will cost around INR200,000 [USD3,092] each in the global market, let us issue these only to frontline infantry soldiers who confront the enemy armed only with their rifles,” Gen Rawat was quoted by the paper as saying.
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