Forces to get Israeli machine guns for Rs 880 crore.
Forces to get Israeli machine guns for Rs 880 crore.. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Jan 28 : India has received a consignment of 6,000 Negev Light Machine Gun (LMGs) from Israel, which was procured under 'immediate requirements', a Defence Ministry official said on Thursday.

India had signed a contract with Israel Weapons Industries (IWI) on March 19, 2020 to procure 16,479 LMGs under Fast Track Procedure.

With the disputed border with China and Pakistan active at the same point of time, the guns will add more firepower to the deployed frontline troops. The Negev 7.62X51 mm Light Machine Gun is a combat proven weapon and currently used by several countries around the globe.

This LMG will greatly enhance the lethality and range of a soldier vis-a-vis the presently used weapon.

Indian Army received first lot of consignment of 6,000 quantities in mid January this year in Mumbai. The guns have been shifted to Jabalpur and is undergoing proper inspection. The rest of the guns is expected to arrive by March end of this year.

Under government's 'Make in India' initiative, rest of the requirement of the Indian Army is being met by Indian industry and currently is at pre-trial stage. "Field Evaluation Trial (FET) scheduled this month," sources said.

On March 19, 2020, Indian Armed Forces' long-standing requirement of a modern state-of-the-art Light Machine Gun (LMG) was fructified with approval of Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

The Acquisition Wing of Ministry of Defence then had signed the capital acquisition contract with Israel Weapons Industries for procurement of 16,479 LMGs at a cost of Rs 880 crore.

The Defence Minister had said provisioning of this operationally urgent and very critically needed weapon will boost the confidence of the frontline troops and provide much needed combat power to the Armed Forces.

(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at sumit.k@ians.in)

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