Israel set to win big Indian orders for Assault Rifles

NEW DELHI, May 10:
Israel has initiated a smart step towards winning huge orders for the Indian Army’s basic assault rifle and small arms by forming a joint venture with India’s Punj Lloyd industrial house.
Tavor, made by Israel Weapon Industries (IWI), is already the weapon of choice for the Indian Army for its specialised units, and as the Army is seeking to replace its existing stock of indigenous INSAS 5.56 mm rifles with a lighter and more powerful weapon, different variants of Tavor stand a good chance of being the standard weapon for the Indian soldier in the years to come.
As per the new defence acquisition rules under Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016, all major weapon purchases have to come with Transfer of Technology and gradual Make in India projects. By signing the agreement with Punj Lloyd, even without a confirmed large order, IWI has apparently placed itself ahead of three or four other competitors in the selection process.
IWI and Punj Lloyd have formed the Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems (PLR), whose first production facility was inaugurated on May 4 at Malanpur in Madhya Pradesh by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Madhya Pradesh already has a chunk of Indian defence industry, albeit in the public sector, and Mr Chouhan promised all possible assistance to the private sector also in expanding the Defence industrial base in the state. IWI has 49 per cent share, and Punj Lloyd, the majority 51 per cent.
This is India’s first small arms manufacturing venture in the private sector, and sets the stage for Israel to capture the small arms market for the Indian forces, company officials told India Strategic (www.indiastrategic.in ).  (PTI)

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