Army commences induction of new sniper rifles along LoC

By Anil Bhatt
    Udhampur (J&K), Feb 7 (PTI) The Indian Army has started the induction of new sniper rifles along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, a top army officer said.
     Under the General Officer Commander-in-Chief of Northern Command's special financial power, the Army floated tenders for procurement of 5,719 sniper rifles from global vendors in January.
     "We have been able to commence the induction of the new sniper rifles (along LoC with Pakistan) and some more are still in the pipeline", General Officer Commanding in Chief (GoC-in-C), Lt Gen Ranbir Singh told PTI in reply to a question.
     He was asked when the Army will be inducting 5,719 sniper rifles from global vendors to replace Soviet-era Dragonov SVD as global tenders have already been floated.
     The Army commander said some of these equipments have been received and some are likely to come in next some time.
     Lt Gen Singh said that upgradation of weaponry is an ongoing exercise.
     "Other equipments which enhances our counter terrorism capability is also being inducted. The capability building is in the pipeline", he said.
     As per the reports, soldiers guarding the LoC are being armed with deadly new sniper rifles, including an anti-material rifle that can go through concrete and metal objects, such as vehicles.
     The guns being given to the soldiers are the .338 Lapua Magnum Scorpio TGT by Beretta, and the .50 Calibre M95 by Barrett. These snipers will replace the ageing Russian Dragunov, the mainstay of Indian soldiers.
     Army chief General Bipin Rawat had said last month that "the Northern Command of the Indian Army taking care of the borders with Pakistan and some parts of Line of Actual Control is soon going to be equipped with the new sniper rifles from this month."
     The US-made Barrett M95 is an anti-material rifle which has a whopping range of 1,800 metres.
     The other gun that will be available to the troops along the LoC is the Victrix Armaments .338 Lapua Magnum Scorpio TGT, owned by Italian firm Beretta.The Scorpio TGT uses the .338 Lapua Magnum (8.6×70mm or 8.58×70mm), a rimless, bottlenecked, centre-fire rifle cartridge, reports added. PTI AB CK