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INSAS Rifle replacement- Where is ‘MAKE IN INDIA’?

INSAS, Indian Small Arms System was introduced in 1980’s in Ichapur Ordnance Factory in West Bengal. INSAS Rifle with 5.56 mm Calibre was introduced in Indian Army in 1999 during Kargil War. INSAS Rifle’s main motto was to injure the enemy instead of killing him on the spot when it was introduced in Indian Army. There could be various reasons behind the idea of injuring the enemy instead of killing him instantly. INSAS Rifle was introduced in Indian Navy and Air Force in due course.

73,000 rifles have been finalized to be replaced under the Government’s approval. These rifles will be replaced by the American Rifles. The approval is termed as modernization of the Indian Infantry. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that these assault rifles will be deployed on 3,600 km long China border. This assault rifle is already in use by many countries by their forces.

Around 18 months ago Assault rifle were rejected by Inidan Army after it failed terribly in the tests. Those assault rifle were manufactured by the Ishapore factory which is run by the State. But why the government has been sitting on an important Issue for the security of India. It is not that Indian Army stood up in a day or two and asked for the replacement of INSAS Rifles. The requirement was put up long time back and was asked for the replacements. Since then Government could have taken proper measures to manufacture the assaults in India. The effectiveness of Prime Minister Modi’s ‘MAKE IN INDIA’ could not be seen anywhere. If the Government’s part is clear than what is the use of sitting Defence Chiefs. If the measures either from Defence Chief or the Government were taken in time then there could have been no need to buy the assault rifles from any other country. It is also debated that the price of the rifles is too high from the present market prices.

According to reports Indian Army had started process of acquiring 7 Lakh Rifles, 44,600 Carbines and 44000 Light Machine Guns (LMG) in October 2017. Army surveyed the global Markets in that process. At present Arms Dealer from America is in talks with the government. Officials said, “The contract is expected to be finalised within a week. The US firm will have to deliver the rifles within one year of the date of finalising the deal,” Officials said that the procurement will be done on Fast Track in view of the security issues on Pakistan and China Borders. If Many countries are already using the weopon in deal then how capable are they for their use on Indian Soil. Why can’t we have weopon that are latest in technology and market?

The Fast Track Procurement is also questionable. Why the Army/Government is so eager to finalise the deal in such a short time. Why was “MAKE IN INDIA” not inserted in this project. If it was inserted than common man has the right to know why it was not successful because the common man paid for it. Or is it that the common man will pay now in the fast procurement of the assault rifles.


Irvinder Singh

06 Feb 2019

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