In an attempt to replace its ageing and obsolete weapons, the Indian Army has re-floated the Request for Information (RFI) to procure 5.5 lakh Assault Rifles under Make-in-India category.
The Army seeks a 7.62mm * 51mm rifle with lethality to achieve the objective of ‘Shoot to Kill’.Also, the RFI for 6,000 Sniper rifles was re-issued.
The sources cited the reason for re-issue of RFI as to seek maximum participation and give a chance to all those vendors who didn’t participate in the previous one.
The bid can be submitted within four weeks from date of publication of details while the tentative date for issue of Request for Proposal is March 31, 2018.
There was a requirement of 8.6 lakh assault rifles in 3-services of the armed forces that include Army, Air Force and Navy.
Out of which, 7.6 lakh were sought by the Army to replace the Indian Small Arms System (INSAS), which was inducted in 1978 to maim the enemy.
The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) would supply 1.80 lakh rifles while a total of 72,000 rifles will be procured through Fast Track Procedure (FTP), sources in the Defence establishment said.
For OFB, there is no requirement of RFI, only the tender is placed.
The issue was extensively discussed at different forums which felt modernisation of the Army must be in tune with the evolving security threat facing the country.
Last year, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat had said,Modernisation of infantry is very much on cards and you will soon see the induction of modern weapon system, surveillance system and all that is required to support the infantry.’’
During Army Commanders’ Conference in Delhi last year, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had conveyed to the Army that modernisation of the force was a priority for the government and all its “deficiencies” will be addressed to strengthen its combat capability.