Defence ministry Tuesday approved the purchase of 7.40 lakh new assault rifles, 5,719 sniper rifles and light machine guns at a cost of Rs. 15,935 crore to completely revamp the offensive fire power of Indian infantry which was forced to use outdated Insas rifles which were manufactured indigenously but did not have a glorious record with forces.
The long-pending proposals were cleared at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council, the defence ministry’s highest decision making body on procurement.
The defence ministry said the DAC chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman cleared capital acquisition proposals which were valued at Rs. 15,935 crore.
In a statement, the ministry said “essential quantity” of Light Machine Guns will be through the “fast track” route at an estimated cost of over Rs. 1,819 crore, primarily to meet the operational requirement of the troops deployed on the borders.
The sniper rifles will be bought under the ‘Buy Global’ category, the ammunition for these weapons will be initially procured and subsequently manufactured in India.
The ministry said to enhance the anti-submarine warfare capabilities of Indian Navy, the DAC also approved the procurement of Advanced Torpedo Decoy Systems for the Indian Navy at a cost of Rs. 850 crore.
The ‘Mareech’ system has been developed indigenously by Defence Research and Development Organisation and has successfully completed extensive trial evaluations.