Pune: The Indian Army and the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) are hunting for a new sniper rifle for the infantry, which will have more range, firepower and accuracy than the existing inventory, giving soldiers an edge over the enemy.
A sniper rifle is a man-portable, high precision, shoulder-fired rifle, for military or law enforcement use, designed to ensure more accurate shooting at longer ranges than other small arms. A typical sniper rifle is built for high levels of accuracy, fitted with a telescopic sight and chambered for a military centre-fire cartridge.
The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), through the Rifle Factory, Ishapore, West Bengal, has issued an expression of interest (EOI) inviting eligible vendors/original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to supply the world class sniper rifle with calibre 8.6 mm. A sniper rifle, being an important force multiplier, should be light weight, highly accurate and able to hit the target at a distance of not less than 1,500 metres. The rifle should be able to work in all environmental conditions and geographical terrains.
Further technical requirements for the new sniper rifle are that the sniper rifle must be provided with an open sight (with markings up to 600 metres) as well as telescopic sight. The telescopic sight should have variable magnification suited for the maximum effective range, illuminated cross hair reticule pattern for aiming and range estimation up to 1,800 metres.
In terms of reliability, the new sniper rifle should be able to operate and be stored under varied terrain and climatic conditions in India and in the firing of 100 rounds, it should not suffer from more than one ‘Class-I’ or ‘Class-II’ and no ‘Class-III’ stoppages. Class-I stoppage can be removed by the firer within 10 seconds without the use of any tools/equipment/spares by using only immediate action drill. Class-II stoppage takes 10 seconds to 10 minutes, using tools/equipment/spares issued with the weapon. Class-III stoppage takes more than 10 minutes or special tools/equipment to rectify the defects and resume firing.
“This EOI is being issued for selection of a partner for collaboration agreement for production and supply of 8.6 mm Sniper Rifle against a request for proposal (RFP) to be issued by the Ministry of Defence. The EOI seeks a response from prospective collaborators, who are willing to be associated with OFB through a technology collaboration agreement to manufacture, supply and support Gun and Ammunition system. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed with the selected prospective collaborator before submission of a bid against RFP to Indian Army/MoD. The license and technology collaboration agreement and the Supply Agreement shall be entered into with the selected prospective collaborator after receipt of contract by OFB from MoD”, the EOI document states.
OFB supplies to Indian Armed Forces include Tanks, Arty guns, AD guns, Infantry weapons, ammunition from small calibre to large calibre, clothing items etc.