The Indian Army will issue the less than satisfactory “Excalibur” assault rifle to its jawans as an “interim weapon” while it begins the tedious process of again trying to replace the unpopular INSAS assault rifle. View more at #Hindustan360.
The process to shortlist a new 7.62 x 51 mm rifle could take a few years, said army sources, or might lead to a cancellation of the tender. In the meantime, the lighter and more lethal Excalibur (whose official designation is INSAS Excalibur Mark-I) will have to do despite this weapon being chambered for a 5.56 x 45 mm NATO round.
Excalibur was derived from INSAS and should have replaced the latter as the army’s standard assault rifle this year. But the army leadership changed its mind when it agreed a weapon firing the deadlier 7.62 mm round was a better fit for the army than another weapon firing a light 5.56 mm bullet. Media reports said the army has asked the state-run Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to supply a “large number” of prototype Excalibur rifles for simultaneous tests at locations around the country to speed-up Excalibur’s induction as a provisional weapon.
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