The Indian Army is reportedly proposing to purchase 72,000 additional American SIG SAUER 716 assault rifles.

In December last year, the army received the first batch of American Sig rifles to boost counter-terrorism operations and other missions in Jammu and Kashmir.

The previous order was placed early last year through the fast track procedure (FTP) programme for 72,000 units. It is said to be worth Rs7bn ($93m).

The delivered rifles are fielded by Northern Command troops and in ‘other operational areas’.

An undisclosed defence source reported was quoted by ANI as saying: “We are going to place an order for 72,000 more of these rifles under the financial powers granted to the armed forces.”

The rifles are designed to be able to use 7.62×51mm cartridge and would substitute the existing Ordnance Factories Board-manufactured Indian Small Arms System (Insas) 5.56×45mm rifles.

The Indian troops deployed to conduct counter-terrorism operations and frontline duties on the Line of Control (LoC) were planned to be equipped with around approximately 150,000 rifles, according to local media reports.

Meanwhile, the AK-203 rifles made at Amethi ordnance factory were to be handed over to the rest of the forces.

Recently, the Indian Defence Ministry agreed to purchase 16,000 light machine guns (LMGs) from Israel.

In addition, India also ordered Excalibur precision-guided munitions from the US.