- The Indian army recently put in an order for 2,000 drones. Some of these will be used to bring important supplies to a post at a higher altitude.
- Indian PM Modi announced the project to make new assault rifles for the Indian Armed Forces. These rifles will replace the Indian Small Arms System (INSAS).
Army Chief Gen. Manoj Pande told the media on Thursday, just before Army Day on January 15, that the Indian Army is concentrating on developing its own military technologies. He also said that the first AK-203 assault rifles will be sent to the Army in March 2023.
Gen. Pande said that the Indian Army is encouraging projects for niche/advanced military technologies through indigenous development. “Using niche technologies is very important, given the potential we have in the country,” he said.
Niche military technologies
He said that the Army has set up a single point of contact at the army headquarters called the Army Design Bureau (ADB) to handle niche [military] technologies.
“iDEX, which is run by the Ministry of Defense, is also helping to spread new technologies. Under the iDEX, the Army has started 10 projects,” he said.
The Army Chief talked about the importance of research and development and how the Army is working more and more with top universities, such as the Army Cell in the IITs. General Pande said, “We will use our Emergency Procurement to encourage these kinds of new ideas. We will evaluate them and try them out in the field.”
Through Aatmanirbhata, he also pushed for the development of autonomous aerial systems and space-based capabilities for the future.
The Indian army recently put in an order for 2,000 drones. Some of these will be used to bring important supplies to a post at a higher altitude. Some of the drones will be used for surveillance and reconnaissance in Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, and other key strategic posts at high altitudes.
The AK-203 assault rifle delivery timeline
The Army Chief also talked about the delayed schedule for making the AK-203 assault rifle. “We will get the 70,000 AK-203 assault rifles in 32 months,” he said. “There are more than 6 lakh of them.” The amount of native materials in these will be between 5 and 17%. Rest will be made up of 100% natives.”
India and Russia signed an agreement between their governments in 2019 to set up Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited, a joint venture that will make AK-203 assault rifles. Indian PM Modi announced the project to make new assault rifles for the Indian Armed Forces. These rifles will replace the Indian Small Arms System (INSAS).
By March, the Army will have its first batch of 5,000 AK-203. “We will meet the deadline as we go along,” the Army Chief said.
The head of the Indian Army also talked about how roads, bridges, and tunnels were built along the Line of Control.