Indian Customs to float significant small-arms requirement
The Indian Customs has decided to replace over 6,000 of its old and obsolete hand weapons deployed in antismuggling and engagement operations. Following a decision taken by the DG Revenue Intelligence earlier this year on the state of the Indian Customs armoury of weapons, the service has decided to float a slew of tenders to replace its old .303 rifles, revolvers and handguns with modern new weapons. A committee comprising Customs Preventive Commissioners had been mandated earlier this year with defining usage and deployment norms for newly acquired norms. With the definition process completed, the Customs is now ready to kickstart the acquisition process. According to reports, the Customs field operators currently use about 1,500 different pistols, 1,500 revolvers, 65 light machine guns on patrol vessels, and nearly 600 self-loading rifles. Representatives from Indian Customs have spent the last few months reviewing available equipment from a list of vendors both in India and abroad, including the Ordnance Factory Board, Italy’s Berretta, Austria’s Glock, Israeli Weapon Industries, US firms Smith & Wesson and Colt, Germany’s Sig Sauer and others.