After Spike ATGMs, Army deploys 10,000 SiG assault rifles in J&K

An image of SiG Sauer assault rifle.
An image of SiG Sauer assault rifle.

Will give major boost in anti-militancy ops

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Dec 11: The anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir especially the Valley and the Line of Control (LoC) have got a major boost with induction of 10,000 newly acquired American made SiG Sauer assault rifles, which have been purchased on fast track basis, amid reports that security forces planned to intensify operations during winter when the militants will come down to plains.
Official sources told the Excelsior that India has received first consignment of 10,000 SiG 716 assault rifles manufactured by United States major arms manufacturing company SiG Sauer and all of them have been sent to the Udhampur-based Northern Command Headquarters under whose jurisdiction entire Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir barring three border districts of Jammu, Samba and Kathua, falls.
India had signed an agreement with the American company for supply of 72,400 new assault rifles for the Indian troops to give them major advantage during anti-militancy operations in hinterland of the Union Territory as well as Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan in Rajouri, Poonch, Baramulla and Kupwara districts.
The SiG Sauer SiG 716 7.62×51 mm assault rifles will replace the Indian made 5.56x45mm Insas rifles, sources said.
The American company, according to sources, has delivered first consignment of 10,000 sophisticated rifles to India out of a total of 72,400 rifles for which the contract has been given to them. The rifles will be manufactured in the United States and supplied within a year as the contract has been made on fast track requirement.
“Out of a total of 72,400 rifles, the Indian Army is scheduled to get the lion’s share of 66,000 while the Indian Air Force (IAF) will get 4000 and the Indian Navy 2000,” sources said, adding that bulk of weapons will go to the Northern Command based on their requirement as it was fighting Pakistan-sponsored militancy in the Kashmir valley and infiltration attempts by Pakistan-based militants on the Line of Control.
Sources said apart from 10,000 American made rifles, the Indian Army has also started getting supplies of ammunition for its sniper rifles as more than 21 lakh rounds have been ordered from the vendors.
The Indian Army will also receive major boost with induction of more than seven lakh AK-203 rifles which will be produced in the joint venture between India and Russia.
In view of continued ceasefire violations by Pakistan army, the Indian Army will also shortly deploy recently acquired Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missiles along the LoC with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Spike missiles can be used in the bunker buster mode.
The Indian Army has received 240 Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missiles and their 12 launchers from Israel on fast track mode to meet emergency requirements especially along the LoC with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir where ceasefire violations, infiltration attempts etc have increased following Balakote air raids by India on February 24 and scrapping of special Constitutional provisions of Jammu and Kashmir and its bifurcation into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh on August 5 this year.
The missiles which are supposed to be mainly used for anti-tank operations can also be quite helpful for destroying hardened shelters or bunkers in which the militants might be hiding.
Indian Army had recently targeted camps and launch pads of the militants along the Line of Control about a month ago in which number of militants and Pakistan army personnel were killed.
Faced with increased presence of militants including hardcore cadre of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant outfits at launching pads close to the LoC with full backing of Pakistan army in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region and Baramulla and Kupwara in Kashmir, the Indian troops have been taking series of measures to thwart intrusions.