SOURCE: VISHAL KARPE / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Excalibur 5.56mm assault rifle
Indian Army has decided to go for an imported assault rifle to replace its problematic INSAS rifles but last round of attempts are been made by Ordnance Factory Board which will be sending a new prototype of 7.62x51mm Excalibur assault rifle dubbed AR-2 to Indian Army for Army trials in coming weeks soon.
As per information provided by Industrial sources to media. AR-2 is the Second version of indigenous Excalibur 5.56mm assault rifle developed by OFB which can fire 7.62×39 mm rounds.
Excalibur 5.56mm assault rifle was cleared by Indian Army in Army trials but after Army commanders conference last year attended by Senior most ranked Army Commanders it was decided to rather go for a 7.62x51mm rifles with a higher kill probability and accuracy over 5.56mm rifle which is good for conventional war.
Shift to 7.62x51mm rifles was largely based on requirements to fight terrorist operating AK-47 7.62mm rifles in counter-insurgency operations where indigenous glitch-prone 5.56mm INSAS (Indian small arms system) rifles were short on performance against AK-47.
Army’s previous overambitious experiment to induct rifles with interchangeable barrels flopped big time when none of the International vendors participating in the tender was able to meet GSQRs (general staff qualitative requirements) set by Indian Army.
Under recent RFI issued by Indian Army, 65,000 rifles will be directly acquiring from the selected vendor which subsequently will provide transfer of technology for same rifles to OFB to manufacture locally nearly 120000 rifles.
Major Assualt Rifle manufacturers like Colt (US), Beretta (Italy), Ceska (Czech) and Israel Weapon Industries are likely to respond to the Indian Army tender.