By: Vivek Raghuvanshi
NEW DELHI — The Indian Army has issued a global request for information procure 200,000 5.56mm close-quarter battle carbines at a cost of about $400 million under the Buy & Make India category. The total order is estimated to increase to 500,000 if the requirement of the domestic paramilitary forces is also taken into account.
Efforts to acquire the CQB carbines since 2008 have not yielded any result, and the carbines developed by the state-owned Defence Research and Development Organization, or DRDO, and the Ordnance Factory Board, or OFB, have not been accepted by the Indian Army, according to a senior Indian Ministry of Defence.
The formal tender — expected to be issued in the next six months — will seek a transfer of technology for the carbines to be license produced in India under a partnership with domestic defense companies.
Several overseas equipment manufacturers — including Beretta of Italy, FN FAL of Belgium, Heckler & Koch of Germany, Colt's Manufacturing Company of the United States, and Sig Sauer of Switzerland — are likely to tie up with Indian defense companies such as private sector firms Mahindra Defence, Larsen & Toubro, Bharat Forge and Reliance Defence.
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