India turning to Russia for small arms post-26/11 attacks

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New Delhi, Feb.16 (ANI): Russia, a longstanding defense partner of India, is reportedly in talks with New Delhi for small arms manufacture.

India is looking toward Russia for small weapons like the sniper rifle, submachine gun and grenade launchers.

Leonid Nikolay Skofenko, the head of KBP Instrument Design Bureau in India, told ANI that 'Automatic grenade launcher system 'AGS 30' was enquired by the NSG under direct sales.

He added that "NSG had already used this automatic grenade launcher in the past during the Mumbai terror attacks, but at that time, they had taken it from the army."

Now, they are planning to acquire it directly from Russia, he said.

The KBP Instrument Design Bureau claims that this arming device and fire control handles are designed so as to provide easy firing at any elevation angles.

It is for the first time that one man is able to carry the grenade launcher and the mount. The rate of fire per minute is 400 rpm.

"Earlier, we had supplied this to the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) under a contract in August last year. Now, under the option clause, we would supply the automatic grenade launcher to the NSG and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)," Skofenko said.

The company will bid for the tender for the 'Sniper Rifle', he said.

He told ANI that "NSG has floated the tender for sniper reliefs and we are pitching for our OSV-96"

It's a 12.7mm Sniper rifle which is "designed to engage various targets, including lightly armoured vehicles at a distance of upto 1800m".

It's foldable design and that makes the rifle easy for carrying . The unique feature of this rifle is that it is fitted with a collimating day sight and its is possible to fire the rifle with a night sight. Skofenko also elaborated that "it pentrates through the wall," Skofenko said.

"The MOD and MHA has called for its trials. The navy's MARCO(spl forces of navy) are also interested in this. So, we would be supplying this to the Navy too," he added.

Skofenko added that GM 94, Magazine grenade launcher is also what their company is bidding for the NSG for accomplishing operations of police forces.

The Magazine grenade launcher has different types of grenades (air fuel explosive , smoke , non lethal etc) and allows police to accomplish various missions.

The GM - 94 is effective inside the buildings during assaults in confined spaces of any volume. Its is also possible to fire with butt folded when is its used as a carrying handle.

The Russian arms company Izhmash, which is also attending the Defence Expo in India, is here with the latest AK assault rifles.

Andrey Baryshnikov of Izhmash told ANI: "we are making a move to sell AK-101 to AK 104 Kalashnikov riffles to India. These are technological advanced rifles as compared to AK-47 and AK-56 (Chinese). He also added that We are making a proposal to Indian the government that we can produce these rifles in India under license system."

"Around 60 countries, including Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia are using their AK rifles. Russia does not sell weapons to Pakistan," he added.

He also added that they are looking for a partner in India and are looking for joint ventures with Indian companies. By Sandhya Sharma (ANI)

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