Tiruchirapalli, Mar 19: The local unit of the Ordnance factory (OFT) will launch a new light weight 12.7 mm 'Anti-Materiel Rifle for the army capable of striking targets at a distance of two km in the border areas of the country.
Addressing a press conference after inaugurating an exhibition displaying weapons in connection with the 207th Ordnance Factories Day yesterday, OFT General Manager R K Jain said the prototype of the weapon, weighing 15 kg would be ready in six to nine months for in-house evaluation. Modifications, if any would be incorporated into the system after the army gave its feedback. Apart from army, the new rifle would be supplied to the para military forces also and the field trial of the weapon would take place within a year, he informed.
Replying to a question, he said the OFT would supply its newly developed 40-mm Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) to Madhya Pradesh and Chhattishgarh police. Altogether 115 UBGL would be supplied to these states in batches with the first consignment of 30 pieces to be despatched next month.
Developed in association with the Defence Research Development Organisation, (DRDO), the UBGL could be fitted in the advanced Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) and AK 47 rifles. The Border Security Force (BSF) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have evinced interest in procuring the launcher. The OFT would organise a demonstration of the weapon for the BSF at Tekanpur, near Gwalior, next month, he added.
The factory was awaiting orders for the supply of weapons to the Rashtriya Rifles, a dedicated force involved in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
To another question, Mr Jain said the OFT was currently making nine types of rifles, medium calibre weapons and cannons with different ranges and ammunitions.
Mr Jain said the OFT was also in the process of manufacturing 7.62 mm assualt rifle and the prototype of the weapon would be ready by next month.