New Delhi: The Indian Army seeks a CQB Carbine with 5.56 mm caliber having minimum range of 200 meters and a hit target with accuracy better than four minutes of angle. Carbines are rifles with short-range barrels and are suitable for close quarter combat.
Last year, Indian government cancelled a six-year-old tender for obtaining 44,618 close quarter battle carbines and 33.6 million rounds of ammunition. That bid was won by the Galil Ace of Israeli Weapon Industry (IWI) but the Indian Law Ministry did not give a final go-ahead for the “single vendor situation” deal as only one firm passed the trials conducted by the Indian Army.
Four other global firms, including Italy’s Beretta, participated in the bid but failed to meet the tough specifications laid down by the Indian Army. This led to a “single vendor situation” which attracted the attention of competitors who suspected foul play.
As current trends suggest, the Indian government may prioritize suppliers who can provide Make in India component in the deal. Israeli IWI & India’s Punj Lloyd has set up a JV named Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems aimed to supply small arms, including Galil ACE carbines to Indian armed forces. “This is a joint venture with technology transfer arrangement to manufacture IWI’s small arms in India,” Ashok Wadhawan, President — Manufacturing Business (Defense and Aerospace) at Punj Lloyd Limited, told Sputnik.
Punj Lloyd Raksha System may face tough competition from joint venture protective carbine (JVPC) developed by state-owned DRDO and the trials are underway with Army. JVPC has developed in the 5.56x30mm caliber and has a weight of 3.05 kilogram which is very close to the requirement sought by the Indian Army for this tender (3 kilogram). It can fire upto 850-900 round per minute.