New Delhi: Amid the ongoing tension between China at Galwan valley, the Indian Army will place an order of procuring 72,000 SIG 716 assault rifles from USA. This will be the second batch of order as first batch of 72,000 rifles has already been delivered for use by soldiers in Northern Command and other operational areas, say reports.
India is acquiring the advanced assault rifles to boost its counter-terrorism operations under the fast-track procurement programme. The new assault rifles will replace the existing INSAS 5.56x45mm rifles put in use by the forces currently and manufactured by Ordinance Factories Board.
According to fast-track procurement programme, around 15 lakh rifles would be imported by India for use by soldiers in combating terrorism and frontline duties on the Line of Control (LOC) while the remaining troops of the Indian Army would be provided with AK-203 rifles that will be manufactured jointly by Russia and India at Amethi Ordinance Factory.
The Indian Army has been trying for long to replace their existing INSAS rifles but the attempts failed due to one reason or the other.
In a recent order, the Defence Ministry also procured 16,000 light machine guns (LMG) from Israel to meet the demand for advanced weapons in the Indian Army.
India and China are presently in a stand-off at Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh after China deployed 20,000 troops near the border without provocation since the first week of May.