Tuesday, January 24, 2023
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Two new Israeli assault rifles Arad and Carmel now set to be manufactured in India

The assault rifles will be manufactured under Make in India initiative in Madhya Pradesh by joint venture PLR Systems, which is already producing arms like Tavor.

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New Delhi: In a boost to the fledgling domestic small arms industry, two latest Israeli assault rifles — the Arad and the Carmel — are set to be manufactured in India, ThePrint has learnt.

The assault weapons are to be produced under the ‘Make in India’ initiative in Madhya Pradesh, where a plant had been set up in 2017 by Israel Weapons System (IWI) in a joint venture called PLR Systems.

While Punj Llyod originally held 51 per cent shares in the joint venture, it was bought over by a company called Fouraces System India Private Limited with the Indian conglomerate facing debt issues.

The joint venture is aiming for contracts from the Special Forces of the Army, Navy and Air Force besides the central armed police forces and the state police, sources said.

Interestingly, PLR systems, now run by Col Ajay Soni, already manufactures number of small arms like the Tavor series, the mainstay of the special forces, in India along with others like the Galil sniper rifle, Uzi Pro submachine gun, Masada pistol and the Negev Light Machine Gun (LMG) with indigenous content ranging from 40-60 per cent.

Incidentally, the Army had last year contracted American Sig Sauer 7.62x51mm assault rifle, SIG 716, under a Fast Track Process (FTP) for 72,400 units after a long quest to change its INSAS rifles.

These rifles are to be used by the frontline troops while it has selected AK 203, a 7.62x39mm rifle, to be built in India under a joint venture between state-run OFB and Russian Kalashnikov Rifles, for the rest of the force.

“The plan is now to manufacture the Arad and Carmel, which are the latest offering from the IWI, in India through the joint venture,” a source in the know of the development said.

The sources said unlike in other cases where Make in India happens based on orders from the country, the PLR Systems are manufacturing the arms in India and then offering them for trials.

The company has already delivered various units to forces under the Home Ministry and the plan is now to offer Carmel and Arad.

Also read: AK 203 and Kamov delayed, India and Russia aim for missile deal ahead of Modi visit

Carmel and Arad

Carmel is a multi-purpose, modular, 5.56X45mm caliber assault rifle for modern warfare, which has been supplied to many customers around the world.

According to IWI, the rifle can be easily customised, depending on the operational needs, military or law enforcement tasks — vehicle patrol, CQB (close-quarters combat), undercover missions, short and medium combat engagement, diverse police operations, VIP protection, and more.

It is meant to be a fully ambidextrous platform, equipped with military standard 1913 Picatinny rails on all sides to allow compatibility with any available sights, devices or accessories.

Arad is an M4-type Assault Rifle, intended for all kinds of combat scenarios with its ability to change calibers. The rifle can be changed to shoot two different caliber bullets — 5.56 and 300 BLK.

The sources said the joint venture is also looking at export of the products it manufactures in India.

Also read: All you want to know about .303, the rifle being phased out after 75 yrs of service


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  1. From time to time, we come across such news about some defence product being manufactured in India. Unfortunately, theres no further development. It appears that those in power ultimately rush to buy things abroad every time. The Punj Lloyd factory has been producing rifles for Israel for a couple of years. A rifle good enough for one of the most professional armies of the world but not good enough for India ? The SSS Defence Co has also offerred its rifle for domestic manufacture.

  2. All IAF Fighter Jets are VINTAGE – 40 year old HAGs …..they can’t perform in bed….What IAF has to counter J-20 5th Generation Stealth Fighter Jets of China which forced ill Equipped Inadin Army and IAF to surrender to Chinese Mountain Strike Army LADAKH TERRITORY?

    • Oh little white monkey
      Dont you heard that one of our 50’s Mig dug up the F16 to ground . We Indians are very confident of you chinese product ……….in the term of quality. You made great copies but actually they are junk even you 8th generation jet will be a Craker only

  3. We indians are hypocrits… Its in our blood.. you can find it everywhere in our work place politics even in relations. FYI what we call as indigenous is not really indegineous. There is a *condition apply attached to it.. for instance not all parts of lca tejas or hal druv is made in india… And for that matter even celebrated isro borrows its heavy rocket engine from other countries like france.. This is a huge difference between we and chinese… Chinese even though they copy .. atleast they make an effort to build their own… Why we are still looking for transfer of tech in outdated products.

  4. Reddy:
    ‘Patriot’ Modi earlier announced ‘Make in India’. Now, it has a new name: Atma Nirbhar Bharat.
    The deal for a minimum of 200 twin-engine Kamov 226T light utility choppers was announced by ‘patriot’ Modi in 2015. They were to replace the ageing Cheetah and Chetak choppers of the army and air force. But patriotism is not helping JV to move ahead. Even the deal has not been signed.
    Price issues have also held up signing of the final commercial contract for the purchase/local production of Russian AK-203 assault rifle. The Russian assault rifles was to replace the country’s outdated, indigenous INSAS rifle. The AK-203 is the latest and most advanced version of the AK-47.
    The PM inaugurated the Amethi facility set up for its production along with the Kalashnikov Concern and Rosoboronexport — the Russian state agency for military exports, last March. The deal is still hanging fire.

  5. The deal for the minimum 200 twin-engine Kamov 226T light utility choppers was announced by Modi in 2015. They were to replace the ageing Cheetah and Chetak choppers.
    The problem with Russian military purchases is that when indigenisation is involved, the price goes up inordinately. Like in the case of the AK-203 assault rifle, the main cause for delay is the cost and the indigenous content.
    Under the original RFP, there is a requirement of 70% indigenisation of Russian content. However, the Indo-Russian joint venture set up to make these Kamov choppers in India, is unable to meet the 70% indigenous content requirement.
    Russia like to deliver ‘ready-to-use’ equipment and then make money with spares, repairs and upgrades. ❲Even HAL just puts together the Sukhoi Su-30 from Russia supplied kits.❳

  6. The Army has selected the AK 203, a 7.62×39mm rifle as the standard issue assault rifle – in lieu of the INSAS rifle. It is both lighter and shorter than the assault rifle it replaces and is considered 100% accurate.
    The rifle costing about $1,100 is to be built in India under a joint venture between state-run OFB and Russian Kalashnikov Rifles. The problem with Russian arms is that when indigenisation is involved, the price goes up inordinately.  The Russian state agency for military exports has failed to arrive at an offer price that is acceptable to the Army, which needs 6.5 lakh assault rifles. 

  7. Had the Congress been in power,our armed forces personnel would still be using .303 Enfield rifles and that crap which is known as INSAS.

  8. Make in India means, things that are researched, developed and manufactured in India indigenously. We must not copy the hallow China model.

  9. Finally Indian Army is getting what it wants , only under patriot Modi , Congress never ever made any plans to strengthen Indian Army

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