|X95 assault rifle (Image: Wiki Commons)|
By: Vivek Raghuvanshi
NEW DELHI — Firearms manufacturer Israel Weapon Industries and India-based private sector firm Punj Lloyd have begun to jointly produce a variety of small arms from the Israeli company's product line, of which some are for use by Indian armed forces.
The new venture, named Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems, or PLR, was formally opened last week, and its expected to tap a solid chunk of India's small arms market estimated at more than $5 billion.
PLR is the first private manufacturer of small arms in India that produces equipment for both use by the Indian defense forces and for export. The joint venture has an equity holding in the ratio of 51:49 percent equity, with the majority stake going to Punj Lloyd.
"The small arms plant will be manufacturing the [Tavor] carbine, [X95] assault rifle, [Galil] sniper rifle and [Negev] light machine gun ... and [PLR] became fully operational on 4 May 2017 itself," said Ashok Wadhawan, the president of manufacturing at Punj Lloyd.
"We are targeting the supply of carbine, assault rifle, sniper rifle and light machine gun for armed forces, paramilitary forces and state police. We are also going to be targeting the requirement of sights for the weapon systems, which is vital for the accuracy of the weapons," he added.
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