SIG 716 ASSAULT RIFLE
• Almost 15 years after the demand was raised the Indian Army has finally got the first lot of SIG 716 Assault Rifles.
• Army has received 10,000 SIG 716 ssault Rifles which are part of the first batch of 72,400 ordered from US firm “Sig Saver” under fast-track procurement.
• SIG 716 is a 7.62 calibre Rifle with an effective range of 500m
•These new Rifles will replace the Indian made INSAS Rifles and are considered to be compact, easy to maintain and equipped with modern technologies.
•This will give a major boost to Army’s Anti-terror operations along the LOC.
•We have a 13 lakh of personnel and 9 lakh of Paramilitary forces.
• There are around 2 lakh copies of INSAS Rifles in service, in inventory, in production, for being replaced.
• Lifespan of an INSAS 5.56 mm rifle is about 20 years. These first came in the middle 1990’s. So, they have already been in service for over 20 years.
• It was in 2017, the decision was taken to get away with INSAS and the transition is going on.
• Replacements are AK-203 (JV) which will be made in an Ordinance Factory at Korea. They will also start arriving in next year (7 lakh of them)
• SG 716 is mainly for arming the Frontier troops who are in regular skirmish with Terrorists.
•The govt. has decided that remainder 85% of the requirements of which 60% will be met by industry and rest 25% by OFB.
• Army is also in need of a Carbine because the INSAS carbine has not been fully developed or accepted.
• 90% of the SIG 716s, first lot of 10,000 will go to Frontier troops of Army.
• Rest will go to IAF GARUD commandos and Navy’s MARCOS commandos.
• While AK 203 will be useful for troops who are fighting insurgency in the valley, east or elsewhere.
•AK has minimum stoppages that provides a “faith factor” to a troop. Its maintenance is also minimal.
•However, in the longer run “SIG saver” will be the main stay of the Indian Army.
•Both AK’s and SIG has bigger round of 7.62 mm as compared to INSAS 5.56 mm which increases kill ratio.
• We can’t rely on imported weapons. That’s why a small lot of SIG 716 is purchased. That where AK 203 which will be manufactured in India comes to play.