Saturday, January 08, 2011


Seeking to modernise its infantry, the Indian Army has initiated the process to purchase light weight anti- material rifles capable of busting light armoured vehicles, field fortifications and low flying helicopters from a long distance. The need for anti-material rifles was felt during the Kargil conflict in 1999 when insurgents made concrete bunkers on the frigid heights of the Himalayan range. Anti-material rifles are similar in form and appearance to modern sniper rifles and can often be used in that role, but they are usually chambered for more powerful cartridges and can operate at greater range. According to the army's Request for Information (RFI), the rifles will be used during "conventional and sub- conventional operations" to engage "lightly armoured vehicles, static defences, field fortifications and low flying helicopters". "It (the weapon) must be rugged and man portable by a crew of two and be easy to
bring into and out of operation. The weapon must function in all terrain and climatic conditions as existing in India," the RFI stipulates. The army wants that the rifle to weigh not more than 15 kg with a calibre higher than 12.7 mm and a range of more than 1.5 km. Sources said the order will be for 1000 units and the manufacturers have been asked to respond to the RFI by Jan 31. After the Kargil conflict, South African firm, Denel was contracted to supply the anti-material rifles. But following the blacklisting of the firm on charges of corruption, the acquisition got delayed. The proposal for these rifles has been pending with the defence ministry since 2006. Though there is an Indigenous version of such a rifle, Vidhwansak, developed by the Indian ordnance factories, in association with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), its weight is more than that specified by the Indian Army. Vidhwansak, however,
is cheaper at Rs 10 lakh (about $20 ,000) , than alternatives such as the Denel NTW-20 AMR which costs

No comments:

Post a Comment

no offensive and abusive language please