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India to buy 72,400 assault rifle from US based company, to replace INSAS

India has signed a contract for procurement of 72400 assault rifle from a US-based company Sig Sauer. The entire quantity of 72,400 rifles will be delivered within 12 months of the date of signing of the contract.

According to Sig Sauer’s website, the company is a “New Hampshire-based weapons systems provider leading the industry in American innovation, ingenuity, and manufacturing”.This is a rifle that will be used by an infantry soldier and a big move at infantry modernization.

The Indian armed forces are presently equipped with 5.56*45 mm INSAS Rifle. These INSAS rifles will be replaced with 7.62*51 mm assault rifle which according to defence ministry is compact, robust, modern in technology and simple to maintain in field conditions.

Of the 72 400 rifles, Indian army will get 66400, Indian Navy will get 2000, the Indian air force will get 4000.

The development comes even as India is engaging with the US for its defence needs. Since 2008, the US has bagged more than $18 billion in arms contracts from India. These including the C-17 Globemaster and C-130J transport planes, P-8 (I) maritime reconnaissance aircraft, M777 light-weight howitzer, Harpoon missiles and Apache and Chinook helicopters.

The development comes days after, United States state department has approved sale of Two Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) Self Protection Suites (SPS) for Boeing aircraft to be used in India. The total estimated cost of that deal is $190 million.