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F-INSAS : Indias Future Infantry Soldier Project

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by Manmohan Yadav, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. Inactive

    Inactive Guest

    Look up Standard Army Store in Gopinath .... call them. They, obviously, may not sell you equipment. So have word with them .. the number can be looked up in Just Dial.
     
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  2. vsdoc

    vsdoc BANNED BANNED

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    Thanks. Will try.
     
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  3. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Captain Technical Analyst

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    If it goes to a private entity there is no reason to doubt the quality, many Indian private entities provide high quality products to the West. For example TATA produces entire cabins for the S-92, tail sections for the C-130 and CH-47F, fuselages for the AH-64E and will soon make the entire C295W in India. MKU makes plate carriers, helmets, sights etc for NATO nations such as the US, France, Turkey, Germany etc and Tongo makes sights for the US army.
     
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  4. Gessler

    Gessler Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Buy online from oliveplanet.in

    They ship to all over India.
     
  5. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Captain Technical Analyst

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    Gessler likes this.
  6. Gessler

    Gessler Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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  7. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Captain Technical Analyst

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    More than likely, MKU don't produce a huge range of helmets . Would be nice to see the MACS coming as standard with all Mukut (but I don't expect it). Hopefully they have a cloth cover (like with the ACHs seen with the Maratha LI) instead of a paint finish.
     
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  8. rockstar

    rockstar 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Is it okay to buy such stuff for cvililians?
     
  9. Gessler

    Gessler Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Yes. I bought several myself, including an ACH-2001 helmet.
     
  10. rockstar

    rockstar 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    you use while riding bike? is it bullet proof?
     
  11. Gessler

    Gessler Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Nope. Just because I like it.

    Wanna find out? :evilgrin:

    No kidding though, it's not bulletproof.
     
  12. rockstar

    rockstar 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    There is bulletproof helmets available for riders, that is the reason I asked.
     
  13. Gessler

    Gessler Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Part-3

    Firepower & Tactical Equipment

    Small Arms

    The Indian Army has scores of small arms which, while not bad, fail to provide the troops with a clear-cut advantage in engagements with peer opponents. Such an advantage, while desirable, is easier talked about than achieved. Member @MilSpec had previously highlighted some of the challenges involved, and put forward his opinions regarding several possible solutions. Be sure to check it out.

    In this section, I'll try to assess as best as I can where the IA's small arms procurement appears to be going or where I think it should. The critical areas to improve upon would be Optics, Adaptability and Commonality.

    • Main Service Rifle

    While all is said and done, a foreign weapon to replace the INSAS series is frankly cost-prohibitive....and largely unnecessary when local options are available. The Advanced Assault Rifle (AAR), previously known as the Multi-Caliber Individual Weapon System (MCIWS), designed & developed by the Ordnance Factories Board (OFB), with component production already outsourced to the private sector, appears to be the most logical option. While the exact multi-caliber adaptability of the AAR's action is yet to be demonstrated in any fashion (that is considering the multi-caliber concept is still being pursued), the base variant is expected to be chambered for the standard 5.56x45mm NATO rounds, same as the INSAS it is expected to replace.

    [​IMG]

    The other two calibers as part of the AAR system are the 6.8x43mm and the 7.62x39mm. Ideally, the AAR system should be able to replace both the INSAS and AKM/Vz.58 rifles. However this seems unlikely to happen. The AAR is believed to weight in at around 3.3kgs empty which makes it around 0.8kg lighter than an empty INSAS. AAR is presently undergoing trials.

    [​IMG]

    While I do believe the AAR offers a much higher degree of operational flexibility than the preceding INSAS thanks to the incorporation of a picatinny rail as standard, and what appears to be a collapsible stock, but still there appear to be some deficiencies. For example, the AAR does have additional top, side & bottom rails, but these are all small & clustered in front of the handguard, unlike most other designs where rails are on the bottom & and along the length of the handguard as well. However there is also a small post on the upper handguard on which certain electronics can possibly be screwed in, as seen below -

    [​IMG]

    The small P-rails near the gas-block would allow for the incorporation of flashlights, IR Lasers and other electronics & iron sights as per need. While there is also is an existing fore-grip option, the lack of a lengthy bottom rail means the position of the grip cannot be adjusted to any good effect (and it already doesn't appear to be in a very ergonomic position as it is). However this doesn't appear to be a major problem as all it requires is a redesigned handguard...which should be peanuts compared to the real challenge which is mastering the ballistics, weight-distribution and build quality of the frame. Information is scarce, let's see where this goes.

    Incorporation of an under-barrel grenade launcher would require the removal of the lower handguard anyway.

    [​IMG]

    While several Army units have already adopted optics on their INSAS, the use of red dots and/or holographic sights (which are both being locally made) should be readily available across the infantry by the time AAR is in operational use.

    • Counter-Insurgency/Battle Rifle

    While I would personally have preferred a mix of 5.56/6.8 AAR and a modernized analogue of the FAL chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO as the ideal primary weapons for units like the Rashtriya Rifles (RR), I can't help but think a continuation of the current tradition of using the 7.62x39 Kalashnikovs would offer a far smoother transition without any loss in capability. Toward that end, a heavily modernized AK, such as the AK Alfa offered by Kalashnikov-Israel/CAA Tactical could prove to be an excellent replacement for the Izhmash AKMs and Czech Vz.58s. This would be an option which allows the troops to feel at home with the bullet characteristics, while offering a much-improved level of flexibility & weight-optimization (several hundred grams lighter than an AKM).

    [​IMG]

    Kalashnikov Israel has offered a tie-up with Reliance Defence for local manufacturing of the Alfa, which could possibly allow us to make further variants of the design if needed. Scores of existing 7.62x39 cartridges can continue to be used by RR.

    • Light Machine Gun

    Currently the INSAS-LMG chambered in 5.56x45 NATO with it's 30-round box magazine is actually more of an assault rifle with a long barrel & bipod than an actual LMG. At least that's the way it seems to me. While rifle-capacity magazines used in MGs is not entirely unheard of (Russian RPK with 40-round mags), the fact remains that the global standard is either a 100, 150 or even 200-round box/drum magazine. Combined with the heavier barrels & bipods, such a weapon would be able to provide longer bouts of suppressive fire without need of frequent reloads....therefore being a true sustained-fire infantry weapon. A perfect example would be the FN Minimi/M249.

    The OFB is believed to be developing an indigenous LMG as a possible replacement for the INSAS machine gun. Absolutely no further details are available except that it was revealed by certain websites that this 'LMG' is chambered for 7.62x51mm NATO. Usually LMGs make use of the same caliber as the assault rifles in an infantry squad (5.56x45 in our case) and the bigger 7.62x51 is reserved for General-Purpose MGs. That's how it was in the IA too, and unless the reporters were mistaken or confused between LMG and MMG/GPMG, this appears to be changing. I can think of more than a couple reasons why this could be detrimental. But again I'm no strategist.

    [​IMG]

    Advanced optics should be available as part of the package either way. A future LMG should also follow the rules of Adaptability - rail integration options, adjustable stocks, grips and quick barrel-changes should be possible. However, should the OFB LMG fail to make it (or make it in time), I feel the Army should not think twice before placing an Emergency procurement order for Negev LMGs for the Infantry. At least they can maintain ammo commonality with the ARs, and are also largely familiar with many special forces units in the country.

    • Medium/General Purpose Machine Gun

    The Russian Izhmash PK/PKM types remain in service. MMGs, relative to LMGs, remain largely static and provide much longer bouts of sustained fire...making a loose belt-fed configuration the norm. Considering the fact that OFB would already be getting experience in making 7.62x51 machine gun action in their above-mentioned LMG project, a good MMG should not be too difficult to develop from there. In case that's not possible, or even if it is, I would suggest a local company (Reliance Defence again just for sake of the point) get into a JV with US-based Barrett Firearms, possibly as a DTTI venture, to develop a modified (read, cheaper) version of the new M240LW, which can then be locally made under MII.

    [​IMG]

    • Sniper Systems

    The currently used Dragunov SVD, while undoubtedly a good rifle, needs a proper replacement sooner than later. As would any Mauser SP-66s remaining in service. The emerging scenario could most likely see three different categories of precision rifles being procured:

    1. Sniper Rifle, Bolt Action, .338in Lapua
    2. Designated Marksman Rifle, Semi-Auto, 7.62x51mm NATO
    3. Anti-Material Rifle, Bolt Action, 14.5x114 and/or 12.7x108mm

    The Denel NTW and it's OFB-made Vidhwansak AMR variants appear sufficient and there is no new procurement program in that category for the foreseeable future. Focus remains on the bolt-action SR and the DMR. Note that I'm not aware of any actual RFIs sent out for the purchase of DMRs, but IMO, this is a question of when and not if. A semi-auto precision rifle is an important part of any modern infantry, only a modern DMR can be a proper replacement for the Dragunov's capability. Whichever .338 rifle is procured would be a specialist sniper weapon system which would succeed what the SP-66 used to do.

    The formal solicitations were sent to around a dozen foreign manufacturers from US, Russia, Europe, & Israel. My personal favorite among the expected competition is the MRAD (Multi-Role Adaptive Design), again from Barrett Firearms. Manufactured by a reputable maker, and proven it's capabilities in a wide range of operating environments. Plus the National Security Guard (NSG) already operates the M98B, an earlier iteration of the MRAD. However, this certainly isn't the only proven system among the competitors and the final winner will be selected based on factors that will include pricing.

    [​IMG]

    The other potential competitors include;

    AR-30A1 (ArmaLite, US)
    R93 Tactical (Blaser Jagdwaffen, Germany)
    SV-338M1 (Kalashnikov Concern/Izhmash, Russia)
    SSG 08 (Steyr Mannlicher, Austria)
    PGM338 (PGM Precision, France)
    DAN 338 (IWI, Israel)
    RTAC2-H27B-338 (SIG-Sauer, Switzerland)

    The requests were also sent to Nexter of France and KBP Instrument Design Bureau of Russia. But their possible offerings (in .338 Lapua) are unclear, if any.

    Multiple options exist for a 7.62x51 DMR. A good way forward in my opinion, would be a DMR derived from the OFB AAR. But the AAR does not have a 7.62x51 version even in plans, so it's easier said than done. Member @MilSpec had proposed a heavily modernized DMR made out of the SLR/FAL platform, which India's forces are all too familiar with. But even this requires some ingenious thinking on the part of Army HQ or at least the guys at OFB in order to realize. In these circumstances, I still fully expect an RFI/RFP to go out to foreign manufacturers in the near future.

    Expect the likes of Remington R11 RSASS, the SR-25 from Knights Armament Company (KAC), and the HK417 to show up among the competition. All of these are excellent, proven systems and I really have no opinion which we should go for. The cost factor will likely determine the winner. Although personally I'm totally against buying from Germany owing to the country's unreasonably pacifist export policies and tendency to threaten closure of support contracts in light of allegations of human rights abuse....never mind the dubious double-standards, with most of the Pakistan Army/Rangers rifles based on HK designs.

    [​IMG]

    Should even this not be possible within a set period of time, ordering more Galatz/Galil snipers from IWI would be another option. These are already used by Para-SF units.

    • Standard Infantry Sidearm

    Time to junk the Browning Hi-Power. The HP's metal frame makes the handgun heavy compared to modern plastic-polymer construction. It appears better to standardize on the P226/228 from SIG-Sauer. If we think the 9x19mm Parabellum isn't enough...give the .40 S&W a chance. Test it out.

    [​IMG]

    Will continue with Missiles & other equipment in Part-4 .... (if I have the patience for it)

    @Abingdonboy @randomradio @PARIKRAMA @Grevion @Darth Marr @AbRaj @Levina @VCheng
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
  14. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Fully agreed.
    Don't know why guys at DRDO ignore importance of full length P-rails both in Excalibur as well as AAR.
    Why not learn from experienced weapon manufactures like Kalashnikov in AK Alfa and FN Herstel in Scar.
     
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  15. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    Please carry on with this fabulous series.

    Coming back to the above, if there is one area that India should have mastered by now, it is world class weaponry for its infantry with total domestic R&D, design and production. What are some of the factors that have hindered this goal and what can be done to remove them?
     
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