Indian Army received the first batch of SIG716G2 Patrol assault rifles which are being procured from American firearms manufacturer, SIG Saur Inc.
According to local reports, the first batch of 10,000 SiG716 assault rifles arrived in India on Wednesday, Dec. 11, with another batch of 10,000 rifles expected to arrive soon.
In February this year, India had signed an INR 700 crore (around USD 99 million) contract for procurement of 72,400 assault rifles from the US-based company Sig Sauer Inc* under the fast-track procurement (FTP) procedure.
*The New Hampshire-based company was originally formed in 1985 (then called SIGARMS) to import and distribute firearms made by German firearms manufacturer SIG Sauer GmbH into the United States. Since 2000, the company is organizationally separate from SIG Sauer GmbH, and was renamed SIG Sauer Inc. in 2007.
All of the 72,400 rifles were scheduled to be delivered within 12 months of the date of the signing of the contract. A majority of these rifles (66,400) are for the Indian Army. The remaining will be divided between the Indian Navy (2,000) and the Indian Air Force (4,000).
The rifle will partially replace the Indian Army’s INSAS (INdian Small Arms System) assault rifle. The induction of these new assault rifles will be a shot in the arm for the Army troops engaged in counter-terrorism operations in the country’s north.
The Indian Army has been, for long, seeking to replace its INSAS rifle, chambered for 5.56x45mm NATO round, with a rifle that fires a larger, more powerful 7.62x51mm round, such as the SIG716.
The major portion of the Army’s INSAS rifle inventory will reportedly be replaced by the Russia-designed AK-203 assault rifles, manufactured in India by Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited. The Indo-Russia Rifles is a joint venture between India’s state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and Russia’s Kalashnikov Concern, with Rosoboronexport holding a minority stake. The JV will produce around 750,000 AK-203 rifles, a 7.62×39mm variant from the AK-100 family.
SIG716 is a variant of the SIG Sauer SIG516 (5.56×45mm NATO) rifle chambered for the more powerful 7.62x51mm round. The SIG716G2 Patrol is the Generation 2 assault rifle variant of SIG716 while SIG716G2 DMR is the designated marksman rifle (DMR) variant.
SIG716G2 Patrol Specs:
Operating System: Gas Piston
Caliber: 7.62 NATO
Overall length(IN): 38 in (965 mm)
Overall with: 2.7 in (69 mm)
Barrel length: 16 in (406 mm)
Weight (oz): 9.5 lb (4.3 kg)
Twist rate: 1:10
Mag type: AR-10