The Ministry of Defence has come out with the Request for Information (RFI) Assault Rifles which is being placed to add push to the indigenization process. The whole process will be under the 'Buy and Make (Indian)' with 'Buy' component being kept nil.
The Army is looking to replace around 8 lakh Insas Rifles which are produced by the Ordinance Factory Board. The RFI being issued is for 6, 50,000 rifles which will become the frontline personal weapon system of the important infantry soldier of the Indian Army.
Infantry takes on the enemy from the front. The Indian Army has around 400 units of infantry serving in the most difficult parts which also included the significant part of the unit strengths of the Rashtriya Rifles units entrusted with the counter-terrorism operations in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
In order to fulfil the needs of Assault Rifles, 72, 400 units of such rifles are being procured through the Fast Track Procedure from the international market. The Army had sent a nine-member delegation, led by a Brigadier, to five other countries in order to select the best available from the options in those countries. The delegation is back and it is expected to start the process of fast-track procurement soon.
The Request for Proposal for the larger procurement is expected to take place by December this year.