India needs 44,000 5.56 rifles by August

The Indian Ministry of Defense has reissued an RFI for 44,000 5.56x45mm rifles due by July 15th, and to be completed by this August. We say “reissued” because this is actually based on a previous tender for a similar amount of rifles that has received negative public attention since December 2016 because of severe bureaucratic hurdles between the Ministry of Defense and the Government itself (similar to issues surrounding the INSAS debacle). Specifically, the Indian Army is looking for a Close Quarters Battle rifle, chambered in 5.56x45mm, weighing less than 3 Kg, have an effective range of 200 meters, and outfitted with MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rails. The overall objective of this is to replace the 9x19mm Sterling submachine gun that much of the Indian Army is still using today, especially in the Kashmir area of operations.

From Jane’s

In a 13 June request for information (RFI) the MoD stated that the tender for the carbines, which must have an effective range of 200 m, weigh 3 kg and be fitted with MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail systems, would be issued in August.

The carbines must be fitted with a sighting system comprising both flip-up open and detachable reflex (holographic/red dot) sights, along with a visible and invisible laser spot designator.

And from the New Indian Express on the previous tender

For the last two decades, the Army has been battling to replace its British-era carbines, the sub-machine gun or the sten gun, which were reti red long ago. But each time the selection process get stuck on allegations of corruption and favouritism.

“With repeated failure to procure it through the global tendering process, the ministry has to go for direct government-to-government sale for buying the weapon. It will speed up the acquisition process and will rule out allegations of corruption,” a top ministry official said.

An Army officer involved in counter-insurgency operations said the British-era carbines are not battle worthy. “The carbines were authorised to commanders of Ghatak platoon, the Army’s first line of offensive in anti-terrorist operations. But the weapons are no match for militants who use sophisticated automatic weapons. In conventional warfare, militants are multi-generations ahead of the Army,” he said.

The interesting point about this specific tender is that it is simply asking for 44,000 rifles and isn’t asking a company to turn over technical data sheets for specific rifles, something that has consistently kept many manufacturers from ever doing business in India to begin with. This phenomenon doesn’t just exist to defense investment in India, but also in the public sphere with Coca-Cola withdrawing from India in the 1970s due to the Indian government insisting that the company hand over the secret formula for the popular soft drink. The Indian MoD has been known to act quickly in some cases so this might be the final straw for this particular tender.


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


  • molinius

    My god, Indian military procurement is a nightmare.

    • Haulin’ Oats

      Correction doing anything in India requires the government and their red tape is a nightmare.

      • LCON

        The Red tape is just the outer layer. it’s the steel reinforced concrete paperwork

  • Klaus Von Schmitto

    I would have liked to hear the discussion with the Coca-Cola Corporation.

  • BattleshipGrey

    So the invasion of Pakistan is going to start in August then?

    • Stay classy… Haha!

    • Sardar Sameed Hasan Nakai

      There will be an untrained, but highly capable man with a gun waiting for them behind every rock. Thank god the Pakistani constitution allows us to possess firearms.

      • Brett baker

        I think they’ll avoid the tribal areas.

  • EdgyTrumpet

    Good luck with that.

  • hikerguy

    Well, I thought our procurement of a new pistol, SAW, and eventual M4 replacement was rather constipated. But hey, there is got to be 10,000 folks here in the U.S. making a version of the M4/M16 to try. Best of luck on 44,000 by August.

  • Geoff Timm

    Just more corruption crap. No sane company would get involved with India, they’ll never get paid unless it was all guaranteed by the US Taxpayer. Geoff Who notes this US taxpayer sez NO! HECK NO!

  • Dr Zarkus

    I’d rather listen to Vogon poetry than deal with Indian bureaucracy.

    • Phil Ward

      *Throws self out of airlock*

    • LCON

      Oh freddled gruntbuggly…….

  • kevinp2

    Why not just buy 44,000 M4s and be done with it?

  • Jim Slade

    Hmmmm…. I know some blokes the Indians ‘ave dealt ‘wif before that might ‘ave a few they could part ‘wif ….

    • RicoSuave

      The L98 looks like somebody chopped up a decent gun and reassembled the parts in random order.

      • Wetcoaster

        After they sold off the good bitz

      • Well, they did, kinda. They took a perfectly good AR18 and did THAT to it. LOL

    • JC_VA

      Why would you inflict that on a good and decent people??

  • Edison Frisbee

    Indian rifles must accept a red dot sight??? I guess they don’t have separation of church and state over there….

  • Raginzerker

    Give them kel tec’s

  • mark

    “Completed by this August”

    Not that any company could deliver that many rifles by that date but I think the timeline is to try to get a company to deliver the goods before payment is rendered.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    Should be a tone of ARs that could meet the requirement. I would imagine most of the OEMs aren’t running anywhere near fully capacity which could be a great opportunity for a SW, Ruger Colt, DD etc…

    But I doubt that will happen.

  • Brett baker

    44000 slightly used M4’s would pay for the 10000 7.62 rifles we don’t really need. I’m sure someone atDOD is on the phone as we type.

    • Sermon 7.62

      Don’t even think about it 🙂

      DI guns are a no-no. But I bet Israelis are going to bribe them and sell them that ACE thing and on top of that get a kick back from them.

      • LCON

        M4A1 is used by a number of Indian military units. DI is fine. but I actually agree IWI has the inside track, They have contracted with an Indian firm to make weapons. The Indians use Tavor, Galil sniper rifles and Negev lmg’s ordering ACE or Tavor’s would fit the bill and IWI already has production lines.

        • mosinman

          he’s a DIphobe

          • Sermon 7.62

            DI guns are not good. Jam all the time.

          • LCON

            No they don’t, a properly made and maintained Direct Impingment weapon has no issues of the sort. Early issues with the AR15 were sorted decades ago and were the result of ammunition propelent changes.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Jam all the time.

            Plus, all controls on the AR freeze in the cold and get stucked, mags stick to magwells, and water kills it

          • LCON

            Almost every rifle on the planet can have those in the right conditions. This is not magic these are mechanical devices.

          • Sermon 7.62

            “Extreme Cold Weather Rifle Testing by Alaska S.P.”

            The weapons performed as follows:

            Colt M-16 Forward assist had to be used to close the bolt. Selector frozen, could not be moved. Five rounds cycled manually, none fired.

            Colt AR-15 Magazine release frozen, selector frozen.

            7.62 Galil No Malfunction
            5.56 Galil No Malfunction

            Valmet No Malfunction.

          • LCON

            A report from 1986 based on M16A1 with then issued alluminum magazines.

          • Sermon 7.62

            “Forward assist had to be used to close the bolt. Selector frozen, could not be moved. Magazine release frozen.”

          • LCON

            yes I read the article.
            It was an Informal from an Old magazine piece, Again 1986 using an M16A1. The weapons had water poured into them and were then allowed to freeze to induce failures in early test
            , The weapons were then heated and lubricated with a Wet lubricant, In extreme cold a dry is the better choice as at extreme cold Which is what he was writing about Break Free freezes.
            None of which proves your “Point” of DI guns Jamming additionally that informal test included Mini 14, HK91, hk93 and A3, M1A, AR 15 and M16,FAL and FNC, Valmet and 2 versions of the Galil.
            And for the Record The Alaska State Police adopted AR15s. As did Norway and Canada.

          • Sermon 7.62

            All of that proves my point well.

            I said, “controls on the AR freeze in the cold and get stucked”. You said that all rifles have the same problems. You were wrong

          • LCON

            did you read the Article?
            Almost every one of the guns was rejected by the writer except the FNC, Valmet and Galil. for any number of reasons some more severe than those listed on the M16 Also again there were two listed AR15 versions and one had failed for a differing reason set. one rifle that passed his testing is the FNC that weapon’s receiver has a similar architecture to the AR15 raising questions on why they failed for sticking issues. Furthermore we are not talking normal cold conditions we are talking extreme cold. Having been “cold soaked” for 14 hours at -40F (Trivia: -40 F is -40 C )
            Additionally there is an issue here as the test was limited to single samples and dated results from over 30 years ago. 1 M16A1, 1AR15, 1 Galil 7.62, 1 Galil 5.56,1 Valmet,1 FNC, 1HK91, 1 Hk93, 1HK 93A3, 1 M1A, 1 Mini 14. For all we know those failed individual units could have been damaged or in poor condition.

          • Sermon 7.62

            I said, “controls on the AR freeze in the cold and get stucked”. You said that it isn’t so, or if it is so then it is the same for all rifles. And, according to the report, the rifles performed as follows:

            Colt M-16: Forward assist had to be used to close the bolt. Selector frozen, could not be moved.

            Colt AR-15: Magazine release frozen, selector frozen.

            I was right. You were wrong. You can’t accept it and continue to post stupid comments that make no sense.

          • LCON

            I said that under any number of condition that can happen to any system. you are not attempting to revise the argument. You have argued that this test in 1986 is valid yet a test conducted in 2016 with an AK also based on a single unit by Inrange is not. I can produce a Video of a Woman shooting a modern AR15 at -37 F with no issues if you like.

          • Sermon 7.62

            M4’s magazine release has not changed since 1986. Fire selector has not changed since 1986. The test exposed that these controls freeze in the cold, just like I said.

            The test of InRangeTV exposed that a fake AK made of worn out parts, picked from a slum in Romania, will jam after being placed into a tub full of liquid mud.

          • LCON

            No the Selectors have changed and changed a lot the Magazine release did change and changed a lot from M16A1-A2. The Article was not a test it only tried and not in large numbers. This was not a formal trail or Test this was a user trying them in very cold environments.
            Fake AK? What in the name of hell is a fake AK? Oh I get it the monkey model argument is your defence. well guess what, That’s a load of bull. You can’t’ defend AK based on one particular unit being of an Inferior build then Trash the M4 based on an Inferior unit.

          • Sermon 7.62

            M4 is a good rifle for girls 🙂

            See, the AK is as reliable as an automatic rifle can be but it has to be in a mil-spec condition. The worn out parts must be replaced in time. Recoil springs, bolts, etc.

            Fake AK is an AK that was put together by an amateur from the used parts kit. Such an AK is not a mil-spec rifle. Thus, it is liable to experience problems and can’t be taken as an example.

            In the referenced case there was a mil-spec Colt and its mag release froze, its selector froze and it wasn’t M16. I am not aware of the changes, and can’t imagine how it could change “a lot”.

            You can also search “Rifle Cold Weather Ice Test” on MAC and see the same happening to M4 from 11:30. This is a known issue.

          • Your ability to argue is incredibly bad.

            Moreover, it seems that everyone knows what to expect from you already. You were called a troll on multiple occasions, all quite justified. And still people treat you with respect and try to answer seriously to your comments.

            Maybe you should stop, take a pause, and re-read a couple of old threads you were active in? While you do it, please pay close attention to repetition in your comments and variation in others’ comments. It’s a good sign that the argument is not constructive and goes in circles.

          • Sermon 7.62

            It goes in circles because I am forced to point out to some people here that I am not arguing about what these people think I’m arguing about, and some people fail to understand it. You seem to be one of them 🙂

          • kyphe

            The M4 is not direct impingement as it has an internal piston in the bolt carrier group. Anyone preaching the technical aspects of the M4 should know this. The AR platform is one of the most reliable systems in the world. Should people believe you? a random ill informed web person or the British SAS? and most other special forces who get to choose what firearm they use.

          • Sermon 7.62

            In February of 1984, I was authorized by the Alaska State Troopers to conduct an evaluation of existing rifles for consideration as a service rifle.

            The entire purpose of the evaluation was to see if any of the weapons could stand up to the neglect and direct abuse we gave it. If all had failed, we would have felt that our test was unrealistic.

            The fact that four of the weapons performed 100% of the time shows that some are suited and some are unsuited to a cold climate.

            “Extreme Cold Weather Rifle Testing by Alaska S.P.”

            The author: Jeffrey Hall is a veteran of the 173rd Airborne and 75th Infantry (Ranger). An Alaska State Trooper for seven years, he has been a member of the Department’s Special Weapons Team

          • kyphe

            And what Patrol rifle do the Alaskan state troopers use? the AR15! What weapon do the US army and special forces use in Alaska and the Arctic? the AR15! What service weapon do the Canadian Armed forces and special forces use in those same conditions? the AR15! What Service weapon do the Norwegian special forces use in those same cold conditions? The AR15. Actual service history shows the reality of this rifles superb reliability in all conditions. You see the test used 33 years ago of pouring a pint of warm water over a single example of each rifle and then letting it freeze for 3h is basically useless and this test by two guys on a shoe budget is not worth the paper it’s written on.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Well it must be then adopted by all NATO countries. Such a superb rifle! Reliable in all conditions! And just for $699.

          • kyphe

            The AR15 platform is used by all of the following to some degree. Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, The Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia,
            Botswana, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia,
            Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican
            Republic, Egypt, East Timor, Estonia, Fiji, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana,
            Greece, Grenada, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq ,Ireland,
            Israel, Japan, Jordan, Jamaica, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia,
            Maldives, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Laos,
            Nigeria, Netherlands, Oman,Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Portugal,
            Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan,
            Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom,
            Uruguay, Vietnam and Venezuela. But the primary reason we know with absolute certainty that the claims of unreliability of the AR platform is total bullshit is the overwhelming positive opinion of 10s of millions of civilian owners who are totally free to express their views. People who complain about the AR15 generally have zero experience with guns or are total fanboys of another platform. Even Rob from the Ak Operators Union, Local 47-74 youtube channel was impressed with the AR he tested.

          • Sermon 7.62

            It’s reliable enough for recreational shooting. It’s good for sport, too. But I was talking about something else.

          • kyphe

            Those armed forces and special forces are not recreational shooters. The civilian ownership enures that there can be no accusation of government censorship. Many private owners put their guns through hell and many run Youtube channels that expose problems in firearms if they exist. If their was anything wring with the AR15 the millions of private owners and ex service men and women would expose it. There is not! it gets high praise from those who use it. Civilian or military.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Millions of private owners and ex service men are not all bloggers, but those of them who are posted blogs like this:

            Rifle Cold Weather Ice Test (google it). You can skip the first part and get to 11:10, that’s about M4

          • kyphe

            LOL I don’t even need too. I have watched all Tims vids and as I recall the AK fails to fire in that test. what is the betting you told me to skip past that bit eh?? yeah we are done here.

          • Sermon 7.62

            His “AK” in that test is not a real AK but it still fires, albeit has a failure to feed the first couple of rounds. That is because an amateur assembled it from a parts kit or something like that.

            He failed to reload his M4 at all.

          • mosinman

            But where is the proofs? ))))

          • Sermon 7.62

            “Extreme Cold Weather Rifle Testing by Alaska S.P.”

            The lubricant was sprayed into the bolts and trigger groups and the weapons were cold soaked for fourteen hours at -40° F. The test showed the true colors of the weapons involved, for all but four failed to function after this test. Again, only the Galils, the Valmet, and the FNC were able to function and fire. The other weapons showed bolts frozen shut, selectors and safeties frozen, and hammers that would not fall. All of the rifles but the Galils, Valmet, and FNC were then eliminated for consideration. These, not surprisingly, share a Kalashnikov ancestry. The weapons performed as follows:

            Colt M-16 Forward assist had to be used to close the bolt. Selector frozen, could not be moved. Five rounds cycled manually, none fired.

            Colt AR-15 Magazine release frozen, selector frozen.

          • mosinman

            so one test, with samples of one is indicative of the entire weapon system? that must mean that the InRange TV mud test proves hands down that the AK is pure crap when it comes to mud. why is it that we don’t hear about issue with the rifles when they are deployed to Norway which gets just as cold as Alaska?

          • Sermon 7.62

            First of all, Norway is surrounded by the Gulf Stream, flowing along its coast and it because of that it doesn’t get as cold there as in Alaska.

            Second, the Inrange TV mud test proves nothing but the that most of their subscribers are idiots. Ask them to repeat the test but next time let the whole rifle be submerged into that mud.

          • mosinman

            so one test is totally legit and the other is not even though they’re single tests with sample sizes of one lol

          • Sermon 7.62

            The Russians tested M16 in the dust chamber, rain chamber and freezing chamber and it failed, but I am told here that the Russian test is not good, because it must be “propaganda”.

            M4 sucks in the cold and it has been proven lots of times.

          • mosinman

            except the only example you give is a test done by police in one state

          • LCON

            And not an M4 An M16A1

        • crackedlenses

          The Galil ACE would work fine and be better than the INSAS.

          • int19h

            ACE would likely also be easier to transition to from INSAS.

      • Brett baker

        General Kalashnikov’s patent for the AK expired a long time ago. The product improved AK-74 you push for is theACE.

        • Sermon 7.62


          This thing isn’t AK at all and for sure it isn’t AK-74.

  • Raptor Fred
    • LCON

      Literally Gold plated.

    • DW

      Taiwanese prototype rifles!
      Seriously though Taiwan will not (also cannot) sell India rifles as they recognise the PRC

  • Vincent

    I expect a grand total of 100 rifles delivered by that time, with 50 still needing to be assembled and a further 25 rejected due to improper fit of a single pin that fit perfectly when it left the factory.

    The last 25 will be used as a publicity stunt for some up and coming politician to “expose the corruption and vow to cut through the bureacracy” when the inevitable outrage over the slow and incomplete delivery of the rifles.

  • Saumya Supratik

    Last date of submission of RFI (Request for Information) from vendors is 15th July 2017, RFP (Request for Proposal) to vendors will be issued on August 2017 by the Army.

    “The approximate quantity 44,000 CQB Carbines should be delivered within four (04) months to twenty four months (24) from the day of signing of the contract. ”

    Please do a bit of research next time.

    • Brett baker

      Dude, it’s the internet. If we did research it would eliminate 3/4 of the fun!

  • valorius

    directs the indian military to the InRangeTv AR project, which weighs in at a svelte 5.3 lbs.

    • NukeItFromOrbit

      Probably not soldier-proof.

      • valorius

        Trials testing would determine that, one way or another.

  • borekfk

    I bet the Indian government still screws this one up.

  • John

    So they are going to buy 44000 tavors/x95 is what the article is telling me.

    • hikerguy

      I am not sure, but do they not produce the Tavor under license anyway?

  • jonp

    Did I just read that Bushmaster got a contract to unload all of the “Hillary Specials” they stockpiled before the last election?

  • Edghost

    I’d like to know what they’re going to do with all those Sterlings…. 🙂

    • Button Gwinnett

      All made prior to 1986… 🙂

      • Ah, but the 1968 Gun Control Act prohibits *importation* of *any* NFA controlled “firearms” after 1968 as transferrable items — only dealer’s samples, military/police sales, etc., permissible. Regardless of when they were manufactured.

        The 1986 cut off date only applies to machineguns *registered* as “transferrable” in the US before May 1986.

  • Ryobiwankenobi

    I sure hope some Sterling kits arrive here. If they are rebuilt properly geeks in Imperial Stormtrooper suits will open carry on Halloween!

  • Veracious_one

    I guess a big country like India never thought of manufacturing their own weapons…..

    • tsubaka

      they tried it failed the same way they tried to build a local jet fighter Tejas (prototype built in 1990 in service in 2015)
      type india in TFB search bar you will laugh

  • RicoSuave

    It is really strange how India, a country that built nuclear weapons, put satellites in space and has produced Nobel prize winners cannot build a decent gun for its military.

    • GhostTrain81

      My theory here is that nukes and satellites, though knowledge intensive, are fairly low batch items. You only need to make a few of them and you can supervise the hell out of every step of the manufacturing process.

  • John

    1. IWI’s Tavor, in whatever flavor.

    2. CZ Bren. Pakistan went ahead and bought it; you can too.

    3. Every single AR-15 in existence. Hell, with prices and supply the way they are, there are several U.S. manufacturers that can deliver the entire order inside of a week.

    4. The AK-102.

    5. Something else.

    Enjoy your choices, India. They’re the same as they were last time, and before that.

  • I see the New Indian Express, like most media, know absolutely jack shit about Small Arms, the sten? Really? Come on. The Sterling, known as 1A1 in Indian service is an excellent personal defence weapon but it should not be used in mountainous terrain during Counter insurgency operations. Indian procurement is absolutely FUBAR.

  • Mike Cramer

    Dude’s ghillie-turban game is on point.

  • Fed24

    Indian defence procurement is fundamentally overly bureaucratic leading to the need for local “Fixers” that end up being caught leading to the company forced to use them black-balled! I wrote this elsewhere but it neatly sums up the Indian defence procurement cycle…

    1) India declares a contest for a new armament
    2) Only companies that have not been black listed for corruption need apply (more on that later)
    3) Companies that enter have to submit their weapon to years of testing by a vast and impenetrable bureaucracy
    4) During that testing local companies/factories usually state owned will complain and lobby that they could produce a local solution for the Indian government and MOD
    5) To get through the impenetrable bureaucracy said bidding companies are forced to employ local officials on a vastly inflated wage to help advise on how best to bid
    6) Shortlisted companies will be require to offer significant offset with 80, 90 and even 100% being the required level
    7) Local production as part of the deal will be required
    8) Companies bidding will not be able to chose their local partners or set up new facilities to produce weapons system
    9) Only old state run companies/factories with their own vast bureaucracies will be allowed by the Indian MOD to be local production partners
    10) These will be the same companies/factories as those in point 4)
    11) To win contract bidding companies must agree to the license production program to be managed by the Indian based companies/factories
    12) Yet those bidding companies must also agree to 100% financial liability if the program overruns due to poor local management
    13) Local companies/factories will continue to complain even when selected as the final partner and continue to offer local solutions
    14) Once a bidding company has won the contract then local Indian companies/factories will drag their feet
    15) It will then be revealed that the local advisers in point 5) that the bidding companies were forced to employ were paying bribes to MOD/factory/military officials
    16) Contract is immediately cancelled with that company and all its sub divisions banned from bidding in the future
    17) Indian government will go for local solution
    18) That will go massively over budget and behind schedule
    19) Indian MOD will look at new bidding process for off the shelf solution
    20) Points 1) to 19) happen all over again
    21) Eventually Indian PM will go with military to a common and trusted supplier like Russia or Israel and buy a solution off the shelf via a government to government deal thus bypassing the whole bureaucratic mess that is Indian defence procurement
    22) Rince and repeat!

  • town22

    Did the Indian government ever let Coca-Cola do business in their country? Did Pepsi, Orange Crush or Mountain Dew cave in and gave them their secret (corn syrup) formula?

  • guest

    Rusted-out AK47 copies made out of scrap metal by Pathans are “sophisticated automatic weapons” and “multi-generations ahead of the Army?”

    • Halz

      In comparison to the Sterling machine guns, yes lol