Defpost.com quotes Indian officials as saying that the Indian Army is planning to place another order for 72,000 SIG716 assault rifles made by Sig Sauer.
In February 2019, India had signed an around $99 million contract for procurement of 72,400 SIG716G2 Patrol assault rifles from Sig Sauer under the fast-track procurement (FTP) procedure.
A majority of these rifles (66,400) are for the Indian Army, with the remaining divided between the Navy (2,000) and the Air Force (4,000). The first batch of 10,000 SIG716 assault rifles arrived in India in December last year.
The new SIG716 rifles will partially replace the Indian Army’s INSAS (INdian Small Arms System) assault rifle. The Indian Army has been seeking for a long time to replace its INSAS rifle, chambered for a 5.56x45mm NATO round, with a rifle that fires a larger, more powerful 7.62x51mm round, such as the SIG716.
According the reports, the majority of the Army’s INSAS rifle inventory will be replaced by Russia-designed AK-203 assault rifles, manufactured in India by Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited. 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 joint company will produce around 750,000 AK-203 rifles, a 7.62×39mm variant from the AK-100 family.