SOURCE: TUSHKAR SHIRODKAR / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG.
India has decided against placing repeat orders for 72,400 SIG Sauer assault rifles from the US after it faced higher recoil, jamming, and accuracy in burst-mode firing when using locally sourced ammunition. SIG 716 Patrol 7.62mm rifles were procured for the Indian Army units deployed along the border with Pakistan in Kashmir and for the counter-insurgency operations in the region.
A video that has gone viral is of an Indian soldier where it was noticed that the gun suffered from heavy recoil on single fire mode and recoil was so bad that the soldier almost lost control of his weapon after the first bust. Video is allegedly from the time when the weapon was getting inducted by the Army, so Army knew about issues with the gun at least from early 2020.
$91.9 million were spent on procurement of these weapons that work well only with the imported ammunition and framed trial by the fire of the Indian Army standard is now under question, on how it was not noticed earlier and why it never suffered such high recoil with Indian made ammunition in previous trials if they were carried out if these issues were noticed then why and who cleared it for procurement?.
Many operators of the SIG 716 still swear by the gun but the Indian Army has some serious answering to do so since high recoil is always the excuse why indigenous Assualt rifles in the past have been rejected. The Clearance of SIG 716 and how it was cleared is still a mystery. Indian Army has not officially commented on it nor has rebutted the article that first made these allegations but it does Indian generals look bad who often have been accused of having two different standards for imported weapons and local weapons systems that are often stuck in a never-ending loop of user trials for years.
It’s high time that the Ministry of Defence takes notice of this blunder made by the Indian Army higher-ups and stop procurement of imported assault rifles and starts work on local alternatives with public and private sector companies.
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