Indian military to get 72,400 assault rifles from US firm

Indian military personnel guarding the 3,600-km border with China will be equipped with assault rifles being used by soldiers in the US and several European countries, Press Trust of India reports citing defence officials.

India has signed a $99 million deal with the US firm, SiG Sauer, to acquire 72,400 assault rifles under fast track procurement (FTP) procedure within one year.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approved the procurement of Sig Sauer rifles earlier this month.

Sig Sauer rifles are compact, robust, modern in technology and simple to maintain in field condition. They will replace INSAS Rifles.

In October, 2017, the Army began the process to acquire around 700,000 rifles, 44,000 light machine guns and nearly 44,600 carbines.

The military started looking for rifle manufacturers abroad after rejecting a model built by the state-run Ishapore Rifle Factory in West Bengal.