New indigenous assault rifle
The Indian Army has commenced user trials of a new, indigenously developed assault rifle being developed to replace the problem-prone INSAS, even as it is evaluating other options globally. The search for an assault rifle began in 2010 and continues till date with firms like Colt and Sig Sauer from the US, Israel’s IWI, Italian Beretta and Ceska from the Czech Republic being short listed. The new indigenous rifle (7.62mm x 51mm) has been developed by the Rifle Factory Ishapore (RFI), West Bengal, in association with the DRDO and is in line with the Army’s staff quality requirements (SQRs). “Until about a year-and-a-half ago, the Army wanted a 5. 56mm category of rifles, the same class as the INSAS. However, with changing threat perceptions and increasing terrorism and other factors, the doctrine has changed and they now require a ‘shoot-to-kill’ weapon, something that can kill and not just incapacitate enemies as earlier,” according to SC Bajpai, Chairman Ordnance Factory Board.