During the past couple of months, the Indian army had at least three casualties from sniper fire on the border. These incidents probably lead India to announce about their need for a new sniper rifle. They sent an information request to world’s major firearms manufacturers. The new rifle must be chambered in 8.6mm caliber and have an effective range of 1200 meters. Normally, .338 Lapua Magnum is referred to as 8.6mm cartridge in the metric designation. So it is clear that they want the rifle in .338 caliber and most likely it will be the .338 Lapua Magnum.
The new gun will replace Russian SVD rifles in the Indian army, but it is not specified if they are requesting for a bolt action or semi-auto rifle. They are planning to purchase 5000 of new rifles for the units serving on the border. After that initial quantity is purchased, India will start manufacturing the rifle domestically. Obviously, if they are going to adopt the new gun for all their armed forces snipers and marksmen, they’ll need more than 5000 rifles. In fact, the possibility of further domestic manufacturing is a requirement in their request. They are looking to arrange a licensed manufacturing or establish a joint company with the supplier of the new gun. The tender and trials may start by June 2017.