The government on Tuesday signed a contract for supplying 72,400 modern assault rifles for the Indian Army and other two defence forces from global manufacturer Sig Sauer.
"A contract has been signed for 72,400 Sig Sauer Assault Rifles under the Fast Track Procedures today. Of these, 66,400 rifles would be for the Army, a Defence Ministry spokesperson said.
This would be a big development for the Army as it has been looking for such weapons for a long time but could not do so due to repeated cancellation of the tender process.
The Defence Minister cleared the procurement on January and now the rifles would be made available to soldiers in a year after signing the contract, Defence officials said here.
The SIG716-G2 rifles would be lighter than the present rifles with the Army troops.
Of the 72,400 rifles, 4000 would be given to the Indian Air Force while the remaining would go to the Navy.
The American rifles would replace the indigenous INSAS series rifles in the force which were not found to be very suitable for counterinsurgency and other operations by the forces.
The government is also working to get smaller weapons such as carbines and Light Machine Guns for troops to equip them in a better way to counter the adversaries. (ANI)