New Delhi: The UAE government has reached out to India over a deal for 93,895 carbines for the Indian Army that will be manufactured by its state-owned entity, Caracal, ThePrint has learnt.
Sources in the know said that the matter was raised by the UAE embassy in the national capital. The deal has been pending since 2018.
It is expected that the UAE government will push more at the higher level for the deal, which the Defence Ministry this month had in-principle decided to scrap. As reported by ThePrint, the ministry’s plan is to divert the project to the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
However, the UAE firm Monday issued a statement, saying that it has already identified the required land, facility and local partners to commence the production immediately.
“Over 20 per cent of the components fitted on the CAR 816 are already made in India, with CARACAL now making commitment to fully manufacture the rifles in-country, in alignment with the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The initiative will also see CARACAL oversee technology transfer,” the firm said in a statement.
It added that the firm has already surpassed global competitors in terms of performance and technicalities to win the bid two years ago, and “now confirms its readiness to service the fast track order from India within 12 months”.
Hamad Al Ameri, Chief Executive Officer, Caracal, said that his firm was awarded the Close-Quarter Carbine contract in 2018 to supply the Indian Army with the CAR 816 after having undergone a “rigorous selection process”.
“Having agreed to fast track the supply, and with the formalities still under discussion, we would like to reiterate our commitment to our bid and to the ‘Make in India’ initiative. With strong bilateral ties between our two nations, and with India being a key market for CARACAL, we remain on stand-by to supply the product to the customer upon instruction,” he said.
Carbines meant to replace outdated guns
The carbines are meant to replace the outdated and ageing 9 mm British Sterling 1A1 sub-machine guns that are currently in service.
The Army had in 2017 decided to opt for Fast Track Procurement of 93,895 new carbines against an overall demand of 3.5 lakh such weapons.
Efforts to acquire the CQB (close quarter battle) carbines since 2008 have not materialised as the carbines of state-owned DRDO and Ordnance Factory Board had failed to meet the Army requirements.