The army requires a limited number of close-quarter battle rifles on an immediate basis, given current tensions on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) where troops are deployed at close range and have even engaged in hand-to-hand fighting over the past months.
Sources have told ET that a larger order for over 350,000 close quarter battle carbines has been reserved for the Indian industry but an immediate requirement of 93,895 carbines that has been processed since 2018 is vital for a combative edge.
The army has been without a close-quarter battle weapon for years, with officials saying that regular assault rifles are being used for the role, reducing the operational efficiency of troops. While the weapons are particularly useful in anti-terrorist operations, they also have immense utility in border operations where a clash between troops can take place at close quarters.
Sources said that the army supports initiatives by the private and public sector in developing these weapons in-house and has started engaging with companies for a larger order of 350,000 rifles that will be fully made in India, with options for exports too.