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Caracal eyes full production capabilities in India

In 2018 the CAR 816 was selected to meet an Indian Army requirement for a new carbine. That contract was cancelled but the requirement has re-emerged. (Edge)

Edge Group's Caracal subsidiary is planning to achieve full production capabilities for its small arms in India, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Hyderabad-based ICOMM.

Speaking to Janes , Caracal's CEO, Hamad Alameri, explained that the company has developed partnerships with suppliers in India that will enable ICOMM to commence production at its facilities. The weapons will be manufactured under the Caracal India business.

Some components will be initially supplied from Caracal in the UAE, but a phased approach will ensure that all elements are manufactured and delivered by Indian companies within four years, Alameri said.

Among the opportunities that the company will be targeting are the Indian Army's outstanding requirement for a close quarter battle (CQB) carbine. In 2018 Caracal won a competition to deliver more than 90,000 rifles with its CAR 816 offering. However, the deal was cancelled in September 2020 in favour of sourcing an Indian alternative.

No rifles have been delivered to date and the army issued a fresh request for information (RFI) for a 5.56 mm calibre carbine in September 2022 – this time for more than 425,000 units. Alameri said that he believes Caracal's CAR 816 is again well-placed to meet the requirement, not least because the rifle has previously been qualified and the company is aware of the technical aspects.

Alameri said that Caracal is also eyeing Indian requirements for assault and sniper rifles, and will put forward its CSR 338 rifle for the latter, which is chambered for the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge.

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