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India’s defense landscape is witnessing a transformation, driven by the development of the ASMI, the nation’s first indigenously designed, developed, and manufactured 9×19 submachine gun. This groundbreaking achievement, spearheaded by the visionary Colonel Prasad Bansod of the Indian Army, marks a significant shift towards self-reliance in small arms production.

The ASMI story transcends the creation of a single weapon. It signifies a new era of innovation within the Indian Army. Until now, the army primarily relied on the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) or state-owned Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) to fulfil its weaponry needs. However, the success of the ASMI project demonstrates the potential for in-house design and development capabilities.

Taking inspiration from the existing Warship Design Bureau, the Indian Army has established the Army Design Bureau (ADB). Initially, the ADB will collaborate with academics, private sector firms, and PSUs to develop desired systems and weapons. This collaborative approach will leverage expertise from diverse fields.

The long-term vision for the ADB, however, is far more ambitious. It aspires to become the central design and development agency for the Indian Army. Its purview will extend beyond small arms like the ASMI, encompassing next-generation main battle tanks, artillery guns, smart communication systems, and even unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

This shift towards self-reliance in defence design and development will empower the Indian Army to equip itself with cutting-edge weaponry that aligns perfectly with its evolving needs and battlefield realities. The success of the ASMI project serves as a stepping stone, and the establishment of the ADB signifies the beginning of a new era of innovation within the Indian Army.

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