Indian MoD Cancelled Tender for Light Machine Guns

The contract was scrapped after Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) emerged as the sole vendor with its Negev NG7 model, after beating the LMG fielded by Bulgaria in user trials

Indian military parade (Photo: AP)

India has decided not to purchase machine guns from the IWI Company of Israel, even as the firm’s NEGEV NG7 passed all trials conducted by the Indian Army, Sputnik News reports.

India's Defense Ministry has decided to call off a global tender initiated in 2014 for approx. 9500 light machine guns of 7.62 caliber, with the front-runner being IWI (Israeli Weapon Industries). Defense sources told Sputnik that the purchase had to be scrapped as IWI and a Bulgarian firm were shortlisted for trials, but only IWI's NEGEV NG7 passed the trials, leading to a single-vendor situation. India's Defense Procurement Policy (DPP) discourages single-vendor situation for any weapon contract.

Israeli Weapon Industries did not comment on the report.

This is the third major small arms contract with Israel to have been dumped by the Indian government in only a year.

Earlier this year, the Indian Army issued a fresh request for information for the purchase of 200,000 5.56mm caliber close quarter battle carbines having a minimum range of 200 meters and which could hit a target with accuracy better than four minutes of angle. The Galil Ace of IWI won the earlier bid, but the Indian law ministry did not give final approval for the "single-vendor situation" deal, as IWI was the only contender to pass the trials.

In September last year, the Indian Defense Ministry initiated a new tender for the purchase of assault rifles after an earlier attempt failed as IWI was again the lone supplier fulfilling the strict technical requirements.