Indian Special Forces gear up, Army to move a proposal seeking better weapons

Next time when Indian Special Forces would enter Pakistan or any other country for a surgical strike, Government is working towards making sure that they have the required weapons and equipment to carry out their mission more effectively and smoothly.

In this direction, the Army is moving a classified proposal worth around Rs300 crore to buy new assault rifles, sniper rifles, general pupose machine guns and light weight rocket launchers and night vision devices at a key Defence Ministry meeting planned next week, senior Army sources told Mail Today here.

WHAT IS THE PROPOSAL

As part of the effort to equip and arm the nine Para (Special Forces) battalions, the government is also likely to adopt the Foreign Military Sales route to import more M4A1 automatic rifles from the US.

The proposal for equipping the Special Forces and doing away with the shortages faced by the units, the proposal has been prepared by the Additional Director General (Special Forces) in the Military Operations directorate which deals with the units closely at the times of operations.

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“The old units like the 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 and 21 Para (SF) have adequate rifles and equipment for performing their tasks but the new raisings such as the 11 and 12 Para (SF) are facing shortages of assault rifles and other equipment. The older units had to dig deep into their reserve equipment to help the new ones,” the sources informed.

As per the sources, the Army has plans of buying around 10,000 free-fall parachutes, 1100 personal automatic rifles, 30-each sniper rifles, and automatic General Purpose Machine Guns, 24 lightweight rocketlaunchers, 20 shotguns and 500 pistols.

“The GPMGs are a must and its requirement was deeply felt in both the surgical strikes in Myanmar and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir for effect. Special Forces are using the Russian Pika Machine Guns which have mostly been captured from terrorists who got them from Afghanistan as the leftovers of the Russian forces there in the 1980s,” the sources informed.

Also Read: How Indian Para Commandos killed 50 terrorists, hit 7 camps during Surgical strikes in PoK

The Special Forces are also keen on getting new assault rifles as the Israeli Tavors are good but the firepower of the 5.56mm bullets is not that effective and in Indian conditions with the hardcore terrorists operating here, bullets which can cause fatal hits are required.

In the presentations to the Government, the Special Forces have even cited examples where the terrorist could manage to escape after being hit by the 5.56mm bullets of security forces.

Para SF in Kashmir

The rocket launchers sought by the Special Forces are light weight and will be easier to carry inside enemy territory, in case of future strikes against terrorist launchpads.

The troops are at present using the Carl Gustaf rocket launchers which were procured long time back by the Army.

Also Read: A Glimpse of Special Forces(Commando) Training of Indian Army

The Automatic grenade launchers are also required by the Special Forces for taking down a group of terrorists or their hideouts during operations by the forces.

The Special Forces presently have an outdated version of this equipment which is quite heavy.

The Defence Ministry has asked the Army to process the procurement of the equipment for the forces under the fast-track procedure which is provided for in the defence procurement procedure.

Under this procedure, the services can bypass several procedures and have to work with the integrated financial advisors for processing their procurement cases after approval from the Defence Ministry at the apex level.

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After the September 28 surgical strikes, the defence Ministry has given a go ahead to the three services with a purse of Rs2,000 crore to buy the equipment and weapon systems which are short in their inventory.

The SF operatives belonging to the 4 and 9 Para (SF) deployed in the valley carried out surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC).