Friday, August 21, 2009

City institute ready with new gun for Army

City-based Armaments Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) is giving the final touches to a modern sub-machine carbine (MSMC) for the Indian Army. The final trials for this 5.56 mm calibre MSMC will be conducted in December this year.

A carbine is a lightweight compact automatic gun with a small barrel; unlike a rifle it fires rapidly and is suitable for close quarter combats.

At present, the Indian Army, paramilitary forces, commandos and the police use a Russian origin 9 mm calibre carbine, which is fairly ancient.

“We are in the process of proving 99.7 per cent reliability for the MSMC. The user will be able to fire up to 200 metres using the MSMC,” said ARDE director Anil M Datar.

The MSMC programme has its origins in the Indian Small Arms System family, which was started in 1982 in a bid to build an indigenous small arms weapons system for India. By 1987, the ARDE had designed the Rifle, the Light Machine Gun (LMG) and the carbine — all part of the INSAS family.

The Army had inducted the INSAS rifle and LMG in 1993; DRDO scientists say it met with a fair amount of success but there were some defects as well, which came to light after the Kargil war.

“The rifle and the LMG was first put to test during Kargil. After that, based on the battlefield experiences, we developed a new version — the INSAS 1B1” said R S Rao, joint director, INSAS, ARDE.

But it was the INSAS carbine that fell through, right from the start. “For the carbine, the ammunition was very powerful. It had higher sound, flash, and recoil effect,” said S V Gade, joint director, INSAS, ARDE. “With the MSMC, we have now changed the length of the ammunition. It is still a 5.6 mm calibre bullet, but it is slightly shorter in length, thereby eliminating the drawbacks of the earlier carbine.”

Finally, the INSAS carbine plan was shelved and in 2002, the Army devised a new set of General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQR) for the new MSMC, he said.

“Since 2006, when the first prototype was devised, the MSMC has been put through every possible scenario that the Army could conceive of.”

The first trial of the prototype was held in 2006, then 2007-end and the last one was in January 2009.

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