New Delhi: After almost 15 years, the demands of Indian soldiers for US-origin assault rifles will soon be met, stated a report. Since these rifles with ‘longer kill range’ are meant for frontline soldiers, they will be used by Indian soldiers deployed on the borders with Pakistan and China, stated a report.

Notably, India had signed the contract with US firm SiG Sauer to procure the 72,400 assault rifles for a cost of Rs 638 crores, informed Defence Ministry officials in February this year. India is planning to get these rifles, which are being used by US forces and other European countries, under a fast-track procurement procedure for critical operational requirements, added the report. As part of the agreement, India will get around 72,400 7.62mm rifles from US firm SiG Sauer in one year from this day, stated the officials in February 2019. The Indian army has already received 10,000 of the total 72,400 SiG Sauer assault rifles, sources told Times of India on Wednesday.

In February 2019, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had approved the procurement of the Sig Sauer rifles, which will be used by troops deployed along the nearly 3,600-km border with China. Currently, the Indian Armed Forces are equipped with 5.56×45 mm INSAS Rifle. There is an urgent requirement of replacing the in-service 5.56X45 mm INSAS Rifle with a 7.62X51mm Assault Rifle which is compact, robust, modern in technology and simple to maintain in field conditions, stated the officials, as quoted by news agency PTI.

In October, 2017, the Army began the process to acquire around 7 lakh rifles, 44,000 light machine guns (LMGs) and nearly 44,600 carbines. Around 18 months ago, the Army had rejected an assault rifle built by the state-run Rifle Factory, Ishapore, after the guns miserably failed the firing tests. Following this, the Army started scouting for rifles from the global market.

(With inputs from PTI)