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F-INSAS : Indias Future Infantry Soldier Project

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

  1. Darth Marr

    Darth Marr Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Local Companies do make all the equipment, god knows why we purchase thing from outside...
     
  2. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Its mainly because keeping firearms are strictly prohibited here. Also govt deals are not that transparent and quick.that's why pvt companies are not interested in investing in loss making market
     
  3. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Gessler

    Gessler Mod MODERATOR

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    These are special forces. Nothing to do with infantry.
     
  5. Gessler

    Gessler Mod MODERATOR

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    Part-4

    Finally got down to write this.

    Infantry Missile Systems

    There would be principally three areas to focus on: Anti-Tank, Anti-Structure, and Anti-Air...all three being manportable, which implies that the weapon can be carried & operated by not more than 1 or 2 people. The areas to improve upon current equipment would be an increase in lethality & adaptability (on the part of the warhead), the latter of which is achieved through having a wide range of warheads designed to be particularly effective against each type of target i.e. light vehicle, heavy armor, reinforced structure etc.

    • Anti-Tank

    The current mainstay of the Indian Army's anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) stocks are the MBDA-designed & locally-built MILAN-2/2T missiles. This is a second-generation SACLOS Wire-Guided weapon. SACLOS=Semi-Automatic Command to Line Of Sight...with the biggest disadvantage here being that the operator needs to continually point at the target from launch to impact, which not only heavily exposes the operator to fire but also lessens the chance of actually penetrating a modern ERA+Composite Armor-equipped MBT target due to the lack of a proper top-attack capability. In addition to the MILAN, a number of 9M133M Kornet-E/M SACLOS ATGMs are also present, but only in limited numbers. They both still remain 2nd generation systems...even though they still are pretty effective systems in proper, trained hands.

    However, with both the PLA and PA fielding newer, improved MBTs & lighter armored vehicles with better protection, a move to a newer Third-generation (or plus) fire-and-forget Manportable ATGM goes without saying.

    The way I see it, we might as well end up having up to 3 different types of new-generation AT munitions for the infantry. Note that here, I'm NOT including the DRDO-developed Nag, which will exclusively be mounted on tank-destroyer vehicles like the modified BMP-2 or a Kestrel/FICV in the future...it's not a manportable system anyway. I'm also not including any AT weapons purchased for the SFs/Airborne Forces, like the order for some ~8500 Spike-SR placed a couple years ago. So these three categories can be broken down into - 1) High-end ATGM, 2) Mid-range ATGM & 3) Disposable single-shot launcher.

    [​IMG]

    Note that when I say high-end & mid-range, I'm talking about cost - which IMO would play a pretty huge part in the whole acquisition.

    A lot of people have said a lot of things, but the way I see it, we have not yet selected any real replacement for the scores of MILANs in service. The order for Spikes is not in enough quantity and furthermore, it's for the SR variant which is a single-shot disposable launcher akin to an AT4. It cannot replace the MILAN for the same reason why the AT4 cannot replace the Dragon or TOW. So this implies that both the US Raytheon FGM-148 Javelin and the longer-range versions of the Israeli Rafael-developed Spike family still remain viable prospects for a purchase. Both the offers are available for localized production, a tie-up with Tata Power SED to manufacture the Javelin in India was discussed, with joint development of an improved "Fourth-generation" variant and co-development & co-production of next-gen Thermobaric & other warhead types, all under the DTTI framework. I understand that previous negotiations for the missile did not get anywhere, but as long as India doesn't place any conclusive order for a new-gen ATGM for the infantry, the Javelin remains a competitor. Raytheon was hopeful for a Javelin Joint-Venture (JJV) program as late as September last year. While on the other hand, the Spike can be produced by Bharat Dynamics Ltd. (BDL) or any other private manufacturers.

    [​IMG]

    Either of these would allow for a quantum leap in anti-tank capability for the IA infantry. And for that reason, must form at least around half the number of new ATGMs to be procured. Why only half? Well, I'd be the happiest sod on Earth if I were to find out our entire manportable ATGM arsenal would be based around a common platform, but unfortunately, for cost reasons, I doubt that can be a possibility (and systems like the Javelin are extremely expensive to begin with), so that's where my idea for a high end+mid range mix comes into play. With the more expensive & advanced of the ATGMs deployed & stored in the more immediate trouble spots & frontline units and the mid-range system taking up the rest of the duties.

    This is where a relatively low-cost system like the DRDO-developed Semi-Active Missile HOming (SAMHO) ATGM can be a lucrative buy to shore up the numbers. Note that as far as I know, the SAMHO has not received any interest from the IA till date.

    [​IMG]

    Now onto the third category...for a disposable single-shot, unguided system. The information regarding this section is particularly scarce (shall we call it the fog of war?), because as per many reliable reports, the IA infantry already uses the Spanish-origin C-90A/CR LAW designed by Instalaza S.A. in considerable numbers. However, I have little to no photographic evidence to back this up. If anyone here does have some pictures of C-90 in Indian service, do post them below. If the information is correct, I have nothing to add given the fact that the C-90 appears to be a fairly modern and effective system. However if the info is wrong, then procurement of an equivalent is what I would recommend. I understand that with the widespread use of re-usable recoilless rifles in the IA (both in infantry & in counter-insurgency), the utility of a single-shot system might be lost somewhere in between.

    [​IMG]

    However they do offer extremely light weight operation, and low-cost manufacturing options, plus the use as an anti-armor/anti-structure weapon...which leads me to wonder why OFB never tried to make a competitive LAW.

    • Anti-Structure

    The Carl Gustaf and it's variants, designed & developed by Sweden's Saab-Bofors Dynamics and built locally by the OFB as the RCL Mk.I/II/III recoil-less rifles remain is widespread use against fortifications, light armor and a variety of other situations where a full-fledged ATGM might be overkill and/or unavailable. And when I say widespread, in this case I literally mean all throughout the length & breadth of India. Currently the Mk.II/III are the mainstay. It's relative light weight, multi-utility and decades-spanning operational use has made it a well-tested favorite. However, like with most weapons it's age, it could do with an improvement...which may or may not come in the form of a completely different system.

    My first preference is obviously to continue the line and adopt the new Carl Gustaf M4 (which Saab has already offered to the IA), produce it locally as the RCL Mk.IV or whatever (again by OFB, but a new private manufacturer can also be looked at) and thrust it into the hands of those IA infantry that need it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The M4 variant offers major improvements over the older M2/M3 (RCL Mk.2/3), in ergonomics, provision for adaptability via introduction of optics and different munition types, but above all, especially in weight -

    M2 Weight: 14.2kg Length: 1130mm
    M3 Weight: 10 kg Length: 1065mm
    M4 Weight: <7kg Length: <1000mm

    So yeah, the M4 seems the most logical way to go and as far as I've heard, the IA is also warming up to the idea.

    However, there remains an alternative approach. One that places a great deal of importance on the US-India defence cooperation (under DTTI or otherwise). That approach is the procurement of the Raytheon-Nammo Talley SMAW-2/2NE. The SMAW (short for Shoulder-launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon...the NE is used for launchers making use of Thermobaric rounds) pretty much handles everything an RCL can, add to that the lighter weight (compared to RCL Mk.III). If we end up going for the Javelin after all, then adopting the SMAW-2/2NE under the same framework (for local production and development of future variants & improved munitions) would make a lot of sense.

    [​IMG]

    But as a first choice? My money is on Carl.

    • Anti-Air (MANPADS)

    A variety of Russian-origin systems like the 9K38 Igla (SA-18) currently fill the role of manportable air-defence for the infantry. I would say the Igla is good enough for service for the foreseeable future, but if at all a replacement has to be found...

    There used to be competition to buy a new MANPADS a couple years ago with competitors like Mistral, Starstreak and RBS 70NG, and like most Indian defence-related competitive bids, it didn't get anywhere. I'm waiting for when a new bidding/trials process begins. However, with the whole Make In India initiative going on and my personal preference for having maximum commonality in equipment across the forces, I must say a couple new ideas have popped up as a result of recent events. But before I proceed any further, let me say once again - why is no one from DRDO looking to develop an indigenous MANPADS??

    [​IMG]

    A significant development last year was the confirmation of India's order for 245 AIM-92 Stinger air-to-air missiles for the IAF's AH-64E Apache Guardians. No matter how I look at it...I can't bring myself to say that India should buy the FIM-92 MANPAD. It's too old as a system to be procuring in massive numbers at this point, and has even lesser space for improvement in the future. My opinion? If at all we have a pressing need for new MANPADS, just order more Iglas from Russia, have them locally made if needed.

    For the long-term...I've heard the USMC is looking at a Stinger replacement program for the future. By 2020, I reckon India could jump on the project....if not make a new system in-house.

    @Abingdonboy @PARIKRAMA @randomradio @MilSpec @Grevion @AbRaj @Agent_47 @Darth Marr @Levina @stephen cohen @vstol jockey

    I think I'm done with this series. Anyone is free to take this thread forward as they wish...
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
  6. LonewolfSandeep

    LonewolfSandeep Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Guys enjoy The ASAT camouflage system (all season, all terrain) using negative colours tan brown & black only... single universal camouflage

    Just for fun

    more about the system

    Its a hunting system, still I thought some will enjoy.

    It caught my eye, as their research shows a very different take on military greens.. in camouflage
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  7. Gessler

    Gessler Mod MODERATOR

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    Been hearing for a while now that IA is on it's way to acquire a 7.62x51mm assault rifle. Also I've heard from Saurav Jha that OFB-made 7.62 Nato rifle might appear soon...I'm hoping it's a version of MCIWS (even a FAL/SLR-based action will be good). Once OFB is done developing this requirement, a locally-made DMR should be within arm's reach.

    Something I heard about DM Manohar Parrikar giving OFB a 4-month deadline to get the 7.62 rifle ready (proof-of-concept at least) seems to indicate that this could be based off the SLR, which is a proven system. The MCIWS/AAR's 5.56 version itself is still under trials with many modifications/improvements yet to come, so making a different caliber out of that system seems a bit far-fetched. If OFB fails to get this ready, a fast-track Govt-to-Govt purchase could be made.

    Here's hoping the old great danes at OFB come out with something like this -

    [​IMG]

    I'm not hoping for much, just the essentials...

    • A modern handguard with rails (free floating barrel is ok)
    • Dust cover with P-rail
    • Collapsible/Foldable stock

    And if you want to be a little bit extravagant...

    • A superior pistol grip
    • Redesigned trigger guard (the existing one seems too wiry)

    ...but I'm not really hoping for these two...FAL has worked flawlessly with the existing grip/trigger guards and OFB is a snail as it is. If it's a question of time, might as well not bother about the new handguard...just get a dust cover with a rail, foldable stock and throw it at Parrikar. Improvements can be introduced later on.

    @MilSpec @Abingdonboy @PARIKRAMA - Anything to say regarding the 7.62 AR requirement?
     
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  8. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Major Technical Analyst

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    To be honest, the IA's AR hunt is beyond confusing to me. The numbers don't add up, the requirements don't make sense and are ever-changing.

    From what I understand the orginal foreign multi-cal rifle deal was to equip CT/COIN units (66,000 rifles were to be ordered) ie the AR and RR, not the conventional forces. Instead a domestic (MCIWS) rifle would be devloped for them.

    But now the IA has said they want a 7.62 NATO rifle (don't know who for)?

    And it is also said the INSAS Mk.1C is being looked at by the IA also (perhaps to cover the interim period whilst waiting for the MCIWS?)

    Whilst at the same time the IA are exploring a foreign AR buy (multi-cal or not?) and the MCIWS is under user trails.


    On top of this, there was a seperate bid for a foreign carbine for 45,000 units, I have no idea what the need for that was nor what happened to that procurement.

    It's an unholy mess that epitomises the mess that is the IA's decsion making system and their broken procurement mechanisms. This is what a bloated and increasingly soft (none of the current IA officer class will have seen actual war) army looks like.
     
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  9. Gessler

    Gessler Mod MODERATOR

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    I have a somewhat blurred understanding of the currently ongoing requirements for assault rifles -

    Dedicated for RR (maybe AR too, not sure) -

    • 7.62x51 (possibly modernized SLR, if not, maybe a Galil version)
    • 7.62x39 (replacement for AKs, based around the same caliber. I heard of several x39 rifles being imported late last year for trials, you may have heard too. Not confirmed if the trials are for RR or maybe for CAPFs. Alfa is not among them, but other AK-based weapons are believed to be)

    For regular IA -

    • 5.56x45 (INSAS replacement - MCIWS/AAR)

    Any newer INSAS version procurement would be an interim measure (as you said) and therefore numbers will be small & for select units. So don't bother about them. Personally, I think any such purchase is a waste of money that could be better spent on other personal equipment - unless ofcourse if there's a serious requirement for new rifles for that particular unit.

    1) It's also entirely possible that a decision has been taken to equip the entire RR with modern x51 rifles and dump the x39 Kalashnikovs for good. If this is how it is, it means the trials for x39 rifles are only for CAPFs.
    2) Yet another possibility is that at least a select few units of the regular infantry will be receiving a mix of 5.56x45 (INSAS-1B1 now, MCIWS in future) and 7.62x51 (whichever is selected now) Nato caliber assault rifles. This would create an obvious ammo division which could have been avoided...but then we also need to look at OFB's development of 7.62x51 LMG (provided that report is correct).

    If the 2nd possibility is realized, it could mean the infantry is making a big jump toward the x51 NATO round. Which would be shared by at least 1 type of AR, LMG & DMR. 5.56 will be in use, but in much reduced numbers than now. For some reason...I don't like the look of the picture I'm drawing. I'm clueless & lost...trying to connect the dots. All this indeed sounds crazy.

    I believe all previous foreign bids didn't get anywhere and never will, probably very few (if any) responded. Even the latest 7.62x51 tender submission deadline was pushed because no one responded. This is a worrying trend if true.
     
  10. Gessler

    Gessler Mod MODERATOR

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    I've been thinking about the OFB 7.62 LMG....what if they're trying to modernize the Bren? I shudder to think they might be trying to create a modern, top-fed LMG. Trying to move the feed to the side? I wonder how much work that'll take...but I do think it should be easier than develop a whole new LMG. A possibility to make use of large-capacity magazines, combined with new furniture & integration options might just breath new life into this tried-and-tested weapon that's still in service with IA/RR.

    [​IMG]

    On the other hand, it's also possible that the OFB 7.62 LMG is only for RR and for the IA, a new 5.56 LMG, possibly derived from MCIWS, will be developed to replace INSAS LMG. No prizes for guessing I guess.
     
  11. Gessler

    Gessler Mod MODERATOR

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    An ongoing conversation with Prasun K. Sengupta -

    Me: Coming to the point about IA infantry weapons...there are a lot of supposed procurement projects and tenders currently on...with a new tender being for procuring a 7.62x51mm NATO assault rifle. OFB is also believed to be competing.

    Given the timeframe, I'm led to believe a modernized SLR/FN FAL might be the OFB's offer (with a new handguard, stock & P-rail integration options, the FAL still remains an excellent rifle).

    Anyway, do you have any idea for who exactly this new 7.62x51 rifles are for? Regular infantry or the Rashtriya Rifles/Assam Rifles type counter-insurgency units? Are we going to replace their existing AKM/Vz.58 Kalashnikovs with these new Nato-caliber rifles or will a new 7.62x39 AK-based rifle will be procured separately in the future?

    Also, any progress on the MCIWS/AAR project?

    PKSG: The 7.62 x 51 SLRs are all meant for the entire IA, but for immediate reqmts of the troops under HQ Northern Command, direct imports will be made because the reqmt is urgent. MCIWS is dead, period, since it is not workable under battlefield conditions.

    Me: Prasun ji...so you're saying that the MCIWS (now called Advanced Assault Rifle/AAR), is dead??

    This weapon -
    [​IMG]

    ...will not be procured?? So what are we going to replace the INSAS rifles with? Foreign guns?

    PKSG: That's right. The baseline design of the new 7.62mm SLR is that of the GHAATAK from OFB Ishapore. So, RIP MCIWS.

    ++

    Now this was shocking for me...however I decided to address the matter at hand and sought a clarification (if any) as to why OFB is looking to make a 7.62x51mm Nato caliber rifle out of a 7.62x39 Kalashnikov frame...while a proper, tried-and-tested 7.62x51 platform exists in the FN FAL/SLR and we already have the rights to build it. Waiting for a response & I'm hoping to alleviate any misunderstandings if there were any. Have also contacted Saurav Jha and sought his views about the OFB 7.62 platform. Let's see what happens...but so far, the future looks bleak for OFB/Indian-made firearms in general if this information turns out right.

    @Abingdonboy @MilSpec @PARIKRAMA

    Is OFB looking to give us a Nato-caliber AK? This Vepr-1V (in .308 win) might give you an idea -

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Inactive

    Inactive Guest

    LOL .... @nair

    @Gessler old news. I said so elsewhere .. in Oct ...
     
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  13. nair

    nair Die hard Romeo Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    I remember....
     
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  14. Ripcord322

    Ripcord322 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    "it is not workable under battlefield conditions"
    Where the heck were the PSU's testing it....If not on battlefields...!?

    PKSG ji saysMCIWS is dead...
    Well...
    How many of our desi guns will fail...!?


    I feel like saying...
    'Let's just leave the quest for a desi gun...And stop wasting money on it...'

    But...I can't.... Because of the false Optimism and Hope I have from our DPSU's...

    Let's just acquire a Foreign Design and License Produce it in millions...


    The IA requirements seen to be so tough that even top of the line well known guns cannot satisfy it....


    Anyway....Good luck to the soldier....


    Hmm... Interesting....
    What Urgent Requirement..!?
    COIN or War...!?
     
  15. MilSpec

    MilSpec Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    interesting to hear that a Gas Piston operated AR15 platform rifle- MCIWS is not workable under battlefield conditions, and a Direct gas impingement AR15 platform like the m4 and M16's have been running in nato forces for ages now.

    kuch gadbad hai.

     
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