New Delhi: The Indian Army is all set to be armed with new weapons as the Defence Ministry has invited global tenders for 65,000 new assault rifles.

To purchase the new rifles costing around Rs 13 crore, the Ministry last month issued Request For Proposal (RFP) to 40 international weapon producing companies.

The new automatic rifles will replace the existing indigenous INSAS (Indian Small Arms Systems) guns which were introduced in the infantry during mid 1990s.

According to the Defence Ministry, the new 5.56 milimetres assault rifles must weigh 3.66 kilograms and equipped with under barrel grenade launchers.

The Army has sought complete transfer of technology from the vendors so that the guns can be license produced at Indian rifle factories.

Meanwhile, the Army needs 20 lakh rifles while the government is planning to purchase these rifles for the Central Paramilitary Forces and state police force too.

It is to be noted, the INSAS rifles, designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation was facing several problems. The rifles faced problems in cold climate in places such as Kashmir Valley and Siachen glacier. Though complains were mended but the rifles are now outdated.

JPN/Bureau