National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 11 August 2017
Rifle Factory Ishapore (RFI) successfully developed Rifle 5.56 x 45mm Excalibur in association with Army. The Gun has been tried by the Indian Army and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). RFI has already supplied around 20000 Nos. Excalibur Rifles to various Police Forces. The design of 5.56 x 45mm Assault Rifle Excalibur is established and proven.
Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has indigenously developed 7.62 x 39mm Assault Rifle (Ghaatak) for MHA Units and Police Forces. After elaborate evaluation, State and Central Police Forces have placed order of around 5000 Nos. out of which OFB has already supplied 1230 Nos. The Indian Army and Indian Navy will be evaluating the weapon.
RFI had developed 5.56 x 45mm INSAS 1C Assault Rifle in the year 2015-16. The Rifle was extensively evaluated by Army and was able to achieve reliability of international standards.
However, in August, 2016, Army changed the calibre of the Assault Rifle from 5.56 x 45mm to 7.62 x 51mm. As a result of this change of calibre, the indigenous Assault Rifle of 5.56 x 45mm Calibre could not be inducted in Army.
Case for declaring an equipment ‘Obsolete’ is taken up by Line Directorate, Army Headquarters (Infantry Directorate, Army Headquarters for Small Arms). No further provisioning for said equipment and spares is done thereafter. Line Directorate caters for introduction of new equipment as replacement for equipment which it plans to phase out.
This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to M Chandrakasi in Lok Sabha today.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 17 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.