New Delhi. In a move to provide better equipment to the Indian Army, exercise is on to get the infantry one of the world’s best rifles, manufactured by firearm major Sig Sauer, by the year end, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said.
Delivering the Field Marshal KM Cariappa memorial lecture here, General Rawat said a manufacturing unit for AK-203 rifles, an India-Russia joint venture, will start production and first set of rifles are expected to be available by the end of this year.
“To ensure there is no slippage in production, for the first time, the ordnance factory in Amethi is being headed by a serving Major General of the Army, who will be its CEO. We are confident the first set of rifles coming in a dismantled state and assembled here will be available by the end of the year,” General Rawat said.
“The infantry soldiers are ever-ready to go into battle on short notice, and the army wants to empower them. And the empowerment happens by giving the soldier the right kind of war-waging material necessary for a soldier to accomplish its mission,” Rawat said.
He said the army is treading on that path to empower them to ensure they are well-equipped and well provided with operational capabilities.
“And, let me assure you, the best rifle available in the world, Sig Sauer from the US will be made available to the infantry by the end of this year,” he said.
The DRDO is also moving forward on indigenously developed Man Portable Anti-tank Guided Missiles (MPATGM), the Army Chief said.
A hundred soldiers, mainly from the infantry division will be sent to Young Soldiers Training Wing, established at the Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai and trained for six months. “We hope a large number of them would then join us as young officers,” he said.
General Rawat said, as part of a new initiative, information regarding India’s borders and boundaries with neighbouring countries would “soon be put in the public domain”.
“So, that soldiers and other people get the right perspective and know the history behind these borders. A soldier standing at the frontline should know exactly why he is guarding it,” he added.
At the event, the Army Chief also released a postal stamp on ‘Siachen Warriors’.