NEW DELHI (Agencies): India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved the procurement of an additional 70,000 SIG Sauer SIG716 7.62×51 mm rifles, valued at INR 8.4 billion (USD 100 million), for the Indian Army, as confirmed by Bharat Bhushan Babu, the principal spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD), on December 14.

This decision comes after the initial purchase of 72,400 SIG716 rifles worth USD 90 million in 2020 under the Fast Track Procurement procedure, demanding swift equipment deliveries within 12 months of the contract signing.

Assessments indicate that the new rifles will also be acquired through the Fast Track Procurement procedure, aiming to equip frontline infantry troops with modern rifles and replace the aging Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) 5.56 mm assault rifles.

In addition to the SIG716 rifles, the Indian Army is awaiting the induction of Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles, produced by the Indo-Russian joint venture Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL), since March 2023, to replace the INSAS rifles.

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