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Defence Ministry clears 70,000 Sig Sauer assault rifles for Indian Army

In a major boost to the firepower of soldiers, the Indian Army will get 70,000 more Sig Sauer assault rifles which will be given to troops deployed in counterterrorism operations and other duties. The approval for the procurement was given at a high-level meeting of the Defence Ministry held recently and attended by the top […]

In a major boost to the firepower of soldiers, the Indian Army will get 70,000 more Sig Sauer assault rifles which will be given to troops deployed in counterterrorism operations and other duties. The approval for the procurement was given at a high-level meeting of the Defence Ministry held recently and attended by the top brass of the military, government sources told ANI.

The approval for the Indian Army to buy more than 70,000 of these assault rifles worth over Rs 800 crore has come at a time when the forces are deployed in a military standoff with China and are carrying out extensive counterterrorism operations along the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir against Pakistan-sponsored terrorist activities, they said.
India has already indicted over 70,000 of these American-made assault rifles, which are being used by forces in the Ladakh sector along the China front and also in Kashmir valley. The plan to buy these rifles was taken by the force initially as it wanted to have a rifle with a longer range.

In February 2019, 72,400 SiG 716 rifles — 66,400 for the Army, 4,000 for the Air Force and 2,000 for the Navy — of 7.62 x 51mm calibre were bought from SIG Sauer of the US. The SiG 716 assault rifle was chosen by the force of several candidates because of its high calibre and extended range. It is also reportedly more lethal than the INSAS Rifle or the AK-47 and its variants in the service.

The Indian forces are also going to soon get the AK-203 being produced by the joint venture between two companies in the ordnance factory near Amethi. Indian forces have recently also acquired the Russian AK-103 in significant numbers to bolster their capabilities against terrorists and for conventional operations.

Procurement Approval: The Indian Army secures 70,000 additional Sig Sauer assault rifles for troops engaged in counterterrorism operations and other military duties, authorized during a recent high-level Defence Ministry meeting attended by top military officials.
Strategic Timing: The decision to acquire these rifles, valued over Rs 800 crore, comes amidst ongoing military tensions with China and intensified counterterrorism operations along the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir against Pakistan-backed insurgencies.
Current Usage: Previously procured American-made Sig Sauer rifles, numbering over 70,000, are already operational in Ladakh and the Kashmir valley, utilized for operations against both the Chinese front and Pakistan-sponsored activities.
Rifle Specifications: The SiG 716 rifles were initially chosen by the Indian forces for their longer range, higher calibre (7.62 x 51mm), and reported increased lethality compared to the INSAS Rifle or AK-47 variants currently in service.
Additional Arms Acquisition: Alongside Sig Sauer rifles, Indian forces are expecting the AK-203 through a joint venture, supplementing their arsenal with the Russian AK-103 to bolster capabilities in both counterterrorism and conventional operations.

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