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SIG Sauer To Supply Over 72,400 SIG716 Rifles To The Indian Army

SIG Sauer SIG716 Indian Flag

The hits just keep coming for SIG Sauer as they are bagging large contracts in the military sector. The most prominent win was the MHS program of the U.S. Army leading to the supply of M17 and M18 pistols and the other branches in the U.S. Army following suit in adopting these pistols. Now, another win for the company as it gets a contract from another country which has the second the largest standing army in the world, the Indian Army.

The contract will partially replace the 1B1 INSAS, the standard rifle of the Indian Army which is said to be problematic, with the SIG716 rifle. This also marks a shift from the 5.56mm NATO for the 1B1 INSAS to the 7.62mm NATO round. There is a trend in militaries at moving to a larger round in order to defeat the body armour of potential enemies which is said that the 5.56mm may lack the penetration power.

“This is the first large firearms procurement of the Indian Government in decades, and the explicit mission for this tender was to modernize the infantry troopers of the Indian Army with the best rifle available,” began Ron Cohen, President and CEO, SIG SAUER, Inc. said in a press release. “We competed in an open tender with small arms manufacturers from around the world. The SIG716 rifle underwent a comprehensive and exhaustive testing and evaluation process where it outperformed the competition, and was ultimately chosen, and met all the criteria, as the best rifle to modernize the Indian Army.”

The Indian Army is spending serious money for a new rifle and has allocated US$503 million to supply its troops with a new service rifle.

The SIG716 is an AR-style rifle that still features of the SIG516 but chambered in 7.62 x 51mm. It uses a short stroke piston-driven operating system with an M1913 Mil-Std rail, free-floating barrel, aluminum forend, M-Lok handguard and 6-position telescoping stock. There are two versions, the SIG716G2 Patrol and the SIG716G2 DMR though we expect the SIG716 rifle for the Indian Army to be customised to meet its requirements.

“The global importance of this contract for SIG SAUER is far reaching based on the size, location, and economic strength of India in the global market. We are very proud, and honored that the SIG716 was chosen for use by the fighting forces of the Indian Army, and we are looking forward to developing a strong partnership with India’s Ministry of Defense,” added Cohen.

There is also another winner with Caracal International of the UAE getting the nod to supply the CAR816 another AR-style rifle that is chambered in the NATO 5.56mm round and is also a short stroke pushrod gas piston design. It will be mainly used for CQB situations and replaces the rather vintage 9mm Sterling a famous World War II SMG. The contract is about 94,000 of this rifle.





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