If reports are to be believed, the armies and the special forces of the United Kingdom (UK) and the US will soon be using the weapons developed under Make in India scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Reports suggest that assault and sniper rifles are a few of the weapons which will be developed at the initial stage. As per the agreements signed between private component makers and foreign arms manufacturers during the Defence Expo 2018, the weapons will be developed at Indian plants, including Chennai.
During the Defence Expo 2018, held on April 12, at least five Indian weapon manufacturers had displayed their plans and future weapons at Thiruvidanthai, in presence of PM Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. As per reports, the small stalls put up by the gun makers at the expo were the ones with maximum footfall. Apart from small gun makers, the expo also had some weapon manufacturing giants who flaunted supersonic missiles, smart fighter planes and electronic warfare software.
According to a report by TOI, the advanced assault and sniper rifles will be made at plants that have been set up under the transfer of technologically enhanced weapons for export to the foreign clients. However, the Indian Army is likely to leave unaware of the new weapons. Commenting on the matter, the official said that it might take some time for the Indian Army to get their hands on the new artillery as the procurement procedures are very complicated. Apart from assault and sniper rifles, some small arms will also be developed by the Indian partners of Desert Tech of the USA, Lewis Machine & Tool Company and Steyr Mannlicher of Austria.
Commenting on the project, the managing director of Neco Desert Tech Defence, a joint venture company floated by Indian company Neco and Desert Tech, Anand Jayaswal told TOI that they have formed the JV Company to make the rifles under transfer of technology. He also that the license was issued by the government some one-and-half months ago. The rifles are used by Special Forces of Thailand, UAE, Czech Republic and many more.