Army hunts for new sniper rifles for infantry battalions
The army is on the hunt for new sniper rifles for its infantry battalions as part of its plan to replenish old stocks and upgrade the existing guns.
The army's search has generated keen interest in the global arms market as major gun manufacturers from Switzerland, Israel and Russia are looking to supply the rifles
Currently, our infantry battalions use Russian Dragunov sniper rifles. The army is yet to specify the number of guns it is going to buy, but officials said it would need more than 2,000 rifles for its large number of infantry battalions.
Lethal weapon: The Russian Dragunov sniper rifle
According to officials, sniper rifles have an offensive as well as defensive role. In defence roles, soldiers are deployed on key locations to strike.
The guns are useful in anti-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and in urban warfare too. The army has been searching for new guns for quite some time now.
The officials said a number of companies had responded to the information sought by the army, such as specifications of the weapons, including the calibre, type of vision device and other qualities. The Russian Dragunov sniper rifles, a 7.62 mm weapon, were first introduced in the 1960s and have performed well.
They are still being used on a large scale in India and are being produced locally, under licence. Apart from Dragunov, the special forces use the Galil sniper rifle.
Considering that the Indian Army's modernisation plan is lagging behind, there is a sense of urgency in getting the new weapons. The defence ministry has put its weight behind the move to fasttrack purchases.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the top body for weapon purchases, in its Friday meeting is expected to take up key projects for the three forces. In its recent meetings, the DAC has been trying to ensure that pending projects should be given a push.
The sense of urgency in upgrading equipment came after ex-army chief Gen. V.K Singh pointed out critical deficiencies in the army's battlepreparedness.
Read more: Stock shortage forces army to go hunting for sniper rifles | Mail Online
Army hunts for new sniper rifles for infantry battalions : North, News - India Today