Indians Want 1500 Anti-Material Rifles

The Indian Army has released an RFI that is requesting interested companies to submit a proposal for 1500 Anti-Material Rifles (AMR as per Indian Army). The rifles must be in a 12.7mm caliber (x108mm or .50 BMG wasn’t specified) and must weigh lighter than the Army’s current Denel NTW-20 in 20mm/14.5mm. They must be capable of accurately engaging targets out to 1800 meters using “armour piercing incendiary, tracer rounds, sabot light armor penetrator, armor piercing explosive incendiary and high explosive armor piercing incendiary ammunition. In addition, the rifles cannot weigh more than 15 kilograms (33 lb) for a combined weight (we assume this is fully loaded).

The reasons for this new RFI are two-fold- Operational Requirements and legacy replacement. Unfortunately for the Indian Army, the currently fielded Denel NTW-20 number only around 400 out of the original 1000 that were intended for the Army. Due to severe corruption, the remaining 600 couldn’t enter the country and Denel was effectively banned from doing business in India. Thus, the Indian Army has been left without appropriate numbers of anti-material rifles for the previous decade. The Operational Requirement for this RFI is looking for a rifle capable of penetrating bunkers and armored vehicles at long distances. Mostly this OR has to do with the issues the Indian Army faces in Jammu and Kashmir with the insurgency taking a very active stance against the Army. Beyond the cities in the province, the terrain consists of open mountain valleys and forests. This would be ideal employment for a long-range anti-material rifle provided the shooters have proper training.

So far TFB has learned of at least one company that is working on a bid, so it is possible that there may be a number of others interested. One of the specific requirements for international companies that the Indian Army has set forth is that, “them to explain whether they will be ready to offer transfer of technology (ToT) to the Indian industry for licensed manufacturing of the weapons. They have also been asked to whether ToT will be offered for sub-systems”. Unfortunately, I believe this might drive potential international companies with successful anti-material rifles away because of the possibility of the designs being locally produced and used to undercut their own sales.


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at


  • EdgyTrumpet

    “Due to severe corruption, the remaining 600 couldn’t enter the country
    and Denel was effectively banned from doing business in India.”
    Ironically enough, corruption is probably how the rifles got selected in the first place.

  • Mattblum

    I think the “license for local production” clause will be a deal breaker for most companies. There is no real protection from pirating the designs in India. Anyone that had what they consider proprietary design elements would be very “optimistic” to allow something like that.

    • TDog

      India’s been demanding that ever since they fell in love with Hillary Clinton’s “Make in India” comment. Heck, they loved it so much they turned it into an official policy point.

      Everything from jet fighters to rifles, they want other folks to give them the tech, tools, and dies, but even more hilariously, they also tend to insert demands that the foreign corporation warranty every bit of gear that Indian workers would produce.

      • john huscio

        You’d think a nation that produces so many doctors and tech workers would have their #$%t together as far as producing small arms goes…….but that doesn’t seem to be the case…

        • TDog

          That’s because all the smart ones left while the getting was good. The Indian bureaucracy is a clusterf*** of epic proportions and they are only exceeded in their idiocy by their elected officials, all of whom seem immune to the idea of anything other than cramming in fifteen words where two will do. Their official press statements are masterpieces of “say a lot but do nothing.”

      • Mattblum

        They’ve been doing similar stuff pretty much forever. My father was a upper level Govt. scientific administrator. The agency he worked for would try to do joint projects with the Indian Govt. They never finalized a single one because every time things were about to be inked, the Indians would demand one last thing and break the deal. Happened repeatedly. This was mid 20th century. Seems they just can’t help but bargain just a little too hard. Nothing changes when you’re dealing with human nature I guess.

    • FarmerB

      I think the bigger problem is the cost of the TOT delivery would have to be spread across so few rifles, as I suspect they want it for “free”. Imagine how much man-years of effort would be spent trying to get their manufacturing properly set up? And all for 1000 or so license fees?

  • John

    1. Either fix and reissue the INSAS-EX immediately, or go to the Philippines and ask for a bunch of rifles to be shipped over.

    2. Immediately stick a medium-distance scope on all Enfields you have in storage and issue them as marksman rifles.

    3. Pick a long-range rifle, ANY long-range rifle, and either copy it at home or add it to the Philippine order.

    You can’t wait on this anymore, guys.

  • clampdown

    India makes US procurement look smooth and painless. Here is a good read about their piecemeal fighter inventory:

  • TDog

    I can only imagine what a laugh riot this arms procurement deal is going to turn into.

    • Jav

      Want to bet that this time it ejects a .50 cal BMG catridge straight into the user’s eye ?

  • Docduracoat

    You are 100% correct
    The Indian demands for technology transfer and incompetent, can’t be fired workers means they produce junk
    The warranty demand when the company can’t fire bad workers is rediculous
    I W I managed to assemble Tavors in India that were built in Israel
    Any company would be mad to agree to these terms
    India would be so much better serve just to buy commercial of the self currently available rifles
    But the epic corruption of their procurement Wallas prevents them from doing that

  • john huscio

    I wonder how India will @#$% this up……

    • B-Sabre


  • iksnilol

    They still haven’t cancelled this show?

    I swear, Indian Arms Procurement is like the longest running soap opera.

    • Major Tom

      At least it’s not rerunning baby plots like a lot of soaps do.

    • Beju


    • Giolli Joker

      Even Nathaniel ran out of funny tags and left the reporting to Miles on this one…

  • GhostTrain81

    These rifles will be so corrupt… a .50 bmg is chambered but a 22LR casing is ejected.

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    Maybe Im just too old school, but when I read “Indians” I first thought “Native American” Indians and not “India” Indians. And I think Ill stop talking now so my post has a chance of surviving the banhammer.

    • Beju


    • The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

      “Red Dot Indians” – not “feaher head Indians.”

  • jono102

    The Iranians could sell them the Heidar rifle, .50. They’re semi and India have already used them before (as spotting rifles mounted on 106mm recoiless guns).
    Transfer of tecnology…not a problem when its going to be a knock off of a knock off.

  • Rickey Morris

    Like the Drug manufacturing Industry in India CIPLA, and the rest walking on world patents, they will do the same with weapons no doubt. China, India, Indonesia, and others have no problems doing that. I doubt any Arms Company will be willing to give away the technology to build the weapons instead of buying them complete. They watched China work us over with those deals before companies started getting smarter, and now they are going to give it a go! You just can’t make this stuff up.

  • Rico Balagbag

    I heard they’re producing toxic, biohazardous, 20MM poop-filled rounds for these.

  • Ratcraft

    India need to concentrate on picking up trash.

  • Schmiss

    This is how India’s military works, they ask for some rifles to be delivered, reverse engineer them and then cancel the rest of the contract. Denel wasn’t going to put up with that and so the Indian government responded by banning the company. They didn’t even know they weren’t allowed to copy the L1A1 without permission from FN in the 50s.