The elite force of the Indian Army is set to become deadlier as India has decided to procure assault rifles, ammunition, and several other specialised equipments from the United States. Para (SF), Marcos and Garud commandos are the special forces of India Army, Navy and Air force respectively. Presently, India Army is already using American M4A1 assault rifles. Moreover, the VZ. 58 Pi, PM Md.90 and Tavor are also being used by the special forces for counterterrorist operations in India. These are manufactured and imported from countries such as Russia, Israel and Czechoslovakia.
"Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is going to chair an important meeting where the proposal to buy the equipment worth over Rs 1,000 crore from the American Department of Defence is expected to be discussed," military sources have told News Agency ANI.
The development comes even as India is looking towards the US for its defence needs in recent times. Interestingly, since 2008, the US has bagged more than $18 billion in arms contracts from India including the C-17 Globemaster and C-130J transport planes, P-8 (I) maritime reconnaissance aircraft, M777 light-weight howitzer, Harpoon missiles and Apache and Chinook helicopters.
It is to be noted that only last month India signed a fast-tracked contract for procurement of 72,400 assault rifles from a US-based company Sig Sauer. The entire quantity of 72,400 rifles will be delivered within 12 months of the date of signing of the contract.
Sources further added saying, "The meeting is likely to discuss an array of equipment including assault rifles ammunition and combat free fall parachutes for the Special Forces units of the Parachute Regiment of the Army. If the proposal goes through, the equipment would be acquired from the United States in a government-to-government deal under the Foreign Military Sales route."
Additionally, Indian Army is planning to buy more carbines in the form of Belgian rifles for its elite forces particularly for the Special Protection Group (SPG) guarding the Prime Minister, which are easier to carry. The Indian Army is desperately trying to modernize its Army including its special forces which have been eliminating terrorists in the northeast and J&K region of the country.