IWI’s joint venture with India’s Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems could be set to produce the ARAD and CARMEL rifles alongside the Tavor X95 already announced. The ARAD was unveiled in September 2019 while details of the the CARMEL emerged in July 2018. The ARAD is a gas-operated rifle in a conventional AR-pattern configuration while the CARMEL is arguably more futuristic with a polymer chassis but using the same short-stroke gas piston and rotating multi-lug bolt.
According to a report in India’s The Print a source suggested that PLR Systems now plan on also producing IWI’s latest conventional configuration rifles, the ARAD and CARMEL. The same report notes that Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems’ majority stake in the joint venture has been bought out by Fouraces System India Private Limited. The PLR System joint venture remains one of the major players in India’s search for indigenous small arms production with modern manufacturing facilities and combat tested designs, some of which including the X95 and the original Tavor are already in Indian military service.
In July 2018 we reported that Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems were set to begin building IWI X95s in Madhya Pradesh as part of a new joint venture with IWI. The joint venture was initially planned to produce not just the X95 but also the designated marksman variant of the Galil ACE, the Negev light machine gun and the original Tavor bullpup rifle. PLR Systems recently told Indian defense magazine Raksha Anirveda that “We are in talks with multiple nations for export of our products and have received encouraging response from some of them.”
Here’s a video featuring PLR Systems’ manufacturing facilities:
PLR Systems’ website currently lists the following products: the Tavor family including the TAR-21, X95 and Tavor-7, the Galil ACE rifle and accurised ‘sniper’ variants, the NEGEV light machine gun, the DAN .338 sniper rifle, the Uzi Pro, the Masada, Jericho and PLR9 pistols and IWI’s under barrel grenade launcher. There is no mention of the ARAD or CARMEL, or the IWI USA’s AR-15, the ZION-15, as in Indian production. While PLR Systems have not confirmed this news with an official statement, R.K. Sharma, the company’s Chief Technology Officer, confirmed on twitter that “ARAD and CARMEL Assault Rifles are the latest additions… They are best in class weapons and will soon be in production from PLR Systems, an Indian Joint Venture company of IWI, Israel.”