Army starts process to purchase 1500 anti-materiel rifles.

Army starts process to purchase 1500 anti-materiel rifles.


Welcome to WARN, Todays NEWS is. Army starts process to purchase 1500 anti-materiel
rifles. The army has started the long-delayed process
to procure around 1,500 anti-materiel lightweight rifles capable of damaging targets like battle
tanks, low-flying helicopters and bunkers. The rifles are being procured to strengthen
the army’s overall infantry and will particularly help it in operations in Jammu and Kashmir. A Request for Information (RFI) for purchasing
the rifles has been issued today according to which the weapons should have a range of
at least 1.8 kilometres with a calibre of 12.7 mm/0.50. At present, the army is using South African
weapons which are not very light and that is why, it was decided to procure the lightweight
rifles whose weight will not be more than 15 kg each. As per the RFI, the ammunition which should
be available for the riffles include armour piercing incendiary and tracer, saboted light
armour penetrator, armour piercing explosive incendiary and high explosive armour piercing
incendiary. The interested manufactures have been asked
to respond to the RFI by May 15. The procurement of the anti-materiel rifles
has been long overdue after the government had scrapped a deal for it in 2005. South African firm Denel was banned by the
UPA government in 2005 after allegations that it had paid kickbacks to secure a deal with
the Indian Army in 2002 to sell 1,000 NTW-20 anti-materiel rifles, along with 3,98,000
rounds of ammunition. Under the deal, 700 rifles were to be purchased
directly and the remaining 300 licence-produced in one of the factories of India’s state-owned
Ordnance Factory Board. Only 400 rifles had been inducted into the
army and the remainder put on hold after the 2005 blacklisting. An anti-materiel rifle (AMR) is a rifle that
is designed for use against military equipment (materiel) than against enemy troops. As per the RFI, in case of foreign vendors,
the army asked them to explain whether they will be ready to offer transfer of technology
(ToT) to the Indian industry for licenced manufacturing of the weapons. They have also been asked to whether ToT will
be offered for sub-systems. The manufacturers have also been asked to
give details about cost of annual maintenance, product support package and training of the
crew. State-run Ordnance Factory, in association
with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), had developed an anti-materiel
rifle called Vidhwansak in 2007. The rifle was offered to the Indian Army but
it chose not to induct it due weight issues.

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