'Made in India' assault rifle fails all tests
June 22, 2017  09:58
In a major setback to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Make In India initiative, the Army has rejected home-made 7.62 x51 mm assault rifles that were meant to replace AK-47s and INSAS rifles, the basic weapon used by jawans.

In recent tests held at the Rifle Factory in Ichapore, West Bengal, India's indigenous 7.62 x 51mm prototype assault rifle failed trials on multiple parameters, with the Ministry of Defense's PMT (Project Management Team) ruling that the assault rifle was "at best only a prototype and requires comprehensive design analysis and improvement."

In a shift from the current 5.56 caliber rifles, the security establishment had floated a 'Request for Information' document last year for procurement of 1,85,000 assault rifles with more lethal firepower.

"A 5.56 caliber rifle may just wound the adversary and there is always a chance of engagement getting prolonged," said Defense Expert Brigadier SK Chatterji.

In it's Request for Information document the objective of the new 7.62 x51mm assault rifle's lethality was 'Shoot to kill'.

Over 20 companies had shown their intent to fulfill this generational shift in assault rifles however the indigenous Rifle Factory at Ichapore had taken upon itself to produce this weapon, which ultimately failed tests held last week.

The Project Management Team constituted to evaluate the gun ruled that, "During internal evaluation excessive number of faults and stoppages to the extent of more than twenty times the maximum permissible standards were observed in the prototype."

Some of the issues highlighted by the MoD's PMT included excessive recoil of the gun upon firing, an inefficient magazine for loading of bullets and excessive flash and sound during firing.

One of the guns also showed a 'Barrel Bulge' during live firing exercises that highlighted improper safety mechanisms of the gun. Moreover, the gun did not have an inbuilt scopes for sighting and accuracy and was not ergonomically designed to facilitate portability for troops.

Image: The rifle was supposed to replace the AK-47 and INSAS rifles used by the Army, but has failed several crucial parameters. 
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