Soon after procuring 7000 Bulgaria-made AKM rifles, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has tested the advanced version of made in India ‘Ghatak’ guns recently in field trial in Kashmir Valley.
However, in a major boost to the “Made in India” brand of rifles, the force is all set to test three crucial varieties of assault weapons, including the Trichy Assault Rifle, and Joint Venture Protection Carbine and the latest variant of Insas I-C.
DG CRPF told India Today, “Yes we are currently in the process of testing new weapons. These are made in India weapons for which the field trials are on. We will be more than willing to procure the weapons if they are found suitable for the jawans.”
With 3 lakh personnel, CRPF is the largest paramilitary force, involved in conflict zones of Jammu and Kashmir, Maoists infested areas and Northeast India.
The force is looking at multiple options in a bid to phase out INSAS (Indian Small Arms System).
One of the first rifles to be tested for field performance has been the advanced version of Ghatak assault rifle. While its performance was noted satisfactory, but the CRPF top brass said that Ghatak did not have the same lethality of AK 47, which is a weapon of choice for close quarter combat.
With its 7.62 X 39 mm dimension, Ghatak’s advanced version was put forth as state-of-the-art assault rifle. However, field officers have given it a thumbs down.
“Its body part is made up of plastic and which looks tacky gives an unreal feel”, said an officer.
While the first munition has proven to a damp squib, the force is said to be more optimistic about the other soon to be tested weapons.
The Trichy Assault Rifle is similar to AK series. It has a side folding stock which makes it easy to carry.
Ordnance Factory of Tiruchi (OFT) has developed this new 7.62x39mm dimension assault rifle. It is touted to be an improved version of INSAS rifle.
The Joint Venture Protective Carbine (JVPC) designed by the DRDO and produced by the OFB as a replacement for the 9mm carbine which has been phased out, is also said to undergo trial soon.
It has 5.56 mm calibre bullets with the magazine capacity of 30 cartridges.
JVPC is said to be more powerful than the 9mm carbine, which has a much shorter effective firing range than the 200 metres of the JVPC. It is capable of penetrating soft body armour made of kevlar.
The last is INSAS I-C a product of the rifle factory of Ishapur.
Sources say, it has overcome its previous issues of jamming and magazine cracking due to cold weather. It is an accurate lightweight rifle, compact, handy and suitable for terrestrial and maritime assignments.