AK 12 to Replace INSAS : Who is Behind the Lobby
There is a big lobby trying to pitch the modern Russian Assault Rifle AK 12 to replace the INSAS from the Indian Army, even they don't knows whats the truth behind the AK 12's current Status. The Lobby in India is trying to kill almost all indigenous products and tries to keep the import and relies the foreign supplier for internal security issues and war. It's earlier the Russians offered the BMP 3 armored infantry fighting vehicle, If the early government accepts the offer of Russian BMP 3 then we don't see the TATA Kestrel, the same goes to Swedish Gripen, They tried as much as it can by forcing the government to drop the LCA and adopt the Gripen for Light Combat Aircraft. Same goes for the Russian Armanta T 14 too, Who pitching against the Indigenous Future Ready Combat Vehicle. Last but not least now they tries to force down the MCIWS and adopt the Russian standard AK 12, A new assault Rifle based on the AK 74.
Under the Indian Army Modernization program, The Army plans to replace all the older INSAS Assault Rifle with modern light weight Assault Rifle which can fire both small and larger size bullet, so India went for a indigenous options to develop a rifle on it's own. Which is intended to be based on the older INSAS characteristics. INSAS can fire single and three round burst, where it will not fire in full automatic mode. So OFB plans to develop a fully Automatic INSAS rifle and Succeeded in the effort, They named it as INSAS Excalibur. However still it can fires only 5.56mm rounds, Which is used better accuracy in long ranges.So Army need to hit the enemy in the head or Heart to get precision kill score, The 5.56x45mm will not penetrate infantry Helmets and Bullet proof Jackets. On the other side much powerful 7.62x39 mm bullets is lesser in range but gives more precision. which can penetrate infantry Helmets and Jackets, even one or two bullets hits anywhere in the Body makes the enemy became dead because of the wounds.
In next generation scout, a squad consists of LMG, Sniper and Assault Rifles, which can fire both small and larger caliber rounds, That's why OFB planned to develop a gun system to fire both small and larger rounds bullets by changing the gun barrel only. Means the infantry needs to carry two barrels and he can quickly switch his mode into Conventional to Counter terrorism, However the status of the MCIWS- Multi Caliber Infantry Weapon System is currently in development mode, some prototypes already produced and they were in trails for evaluation and further improvements, Once army Satisfies the MCIWS's performance. then Army will put those assault rifles in extensive trails before supplying to the Regular forces. Earlier India tries to import some 60,000 of carbines from Foreign, However all the rifles who bid were failed in the Army trails. Which makes the ministry closes the tender and develop our own Rifle to work in all tough scenarios across the country.
The Russians also planned to replace their infantry's basic assault rifle into newer generation Rifle system, the Kalashnikov company who introduced the AK 47 Rifle wins the tender and soon will supply the latest generation AK 12 and AK 103 , which can fire both small and larger caliber rounds by changing the Barrels, currently the Russian Ground forces uses the AK 47, AKM and AK 74 Assault Rifles, However most of the Russian Special forces uses the AKM or the AK 74, compared to AK 74 the AK 12, the outer look only changed, to house modern target sight systems like Red dot sight and Scopes, The known details said AK 12's operational characteristics are same like AK 74M.
Compared to the AK 74 the new rifle costs more, due to the usage of modern materials to reduce the weight of the Rifle. Russians plans to use the Rifle with their Army's special forces unit, means only some fifty to seventy thousand of Russian Soldiers will receive the AK 12. Others get replacement only after 2025 or later. The Russian officials accepted the AK 12 last year, means full rate production will be achieved only after 2017.
So it's clearly if India looks for an Alternate it took another five years, and the Rifle will be handed to Soldier only after 2022. In comparison with AK 12 and MCWIS is almost same, and its developed to sustain tough Indian conditions, unlike the AK 12 designed to stand in Russian scenario's. also the MCIWS provide self sufficient and can be modified whatever the Soldier's requesting, However the same will not allowed in imported items.The Russians told early they have eyes of huge market of the new Rifle same like the AK 47.
So it's a message to the lobby man that India will stick with the MCIWS.