|The SIG716 assault rifle. Photo c/o SIG Sauer.
The Indian Army has received the first batch of the American-made SIG716 7.62x51mm assault rifles the Indian Ministry of Defence (MOD) ordered from SIG Sauer Inc. in February 2019.
The rifles, numbering around 10,000 units for the first lot, is part of a greater order for 72,400 units worth around US$72 million contracted under a Fast-Track Procurement (FTP) process. Aside from the Indian Army, other services branches will be receiving some of the rifles.
All rifles are expected to be delivered to the Indian Army by February 2020, with the Indian Army getting 66,400 units, the Indian Air Force (IAF) with 4,000 units, and the Indian Navy (IN) with 2,000 units.
The SIG716 is based on the SIG516 5.56x45mm assault rifle, mounting a larger calibre barrel enabling the use of the more powerful 7.62x51mm cartridge which is preferred by the Indian Army. It is an enhanced AR platform and features a 16” barrel, M-LOK handguard, a 6-position telescoping stock, and features a short-stroke pushrod gas system.
India previously confirmed that they require around 550,000 units of new 7.62x51mm assault rifles, and the current order with SIG Sauer could just be an initial procurement to cover urgent requirements.
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