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Indian Army Seeks New Assault Weapons

7 September 2009

The Indian Army is looking to acquire new assault rifles following a soldier complaint that they were ineffective on counter-insurgency operations.

The army has been using the indigenous 5.56mm×45mm Indian National Small Arms System (Insas) rifle since the late 1990s, but troops have complained about the weapons low calibre and poor reliability.

According to soldiers, the rifle sling causes many practical difficulties and often snaps. The sling was also not built to be used with the current bulletproof jacket in use by the forces and the sling can obstruct the weapon sights.

Soldiers have also complained that the weapon does not have a rapid-fire feature and can only shoot three rounds in a single burst.

In addition to these difficulties the weapon's magazine is prone to cracking during firing, oil spillage is frequent, and the total weight, which comes to 40kg with bulletproof jacket and signalling equipment, is deemed to be too heavy.