In two weeks from now a factory near the Chambal ravines in Madhya Pradesh will fashion a bullpup. A bullpup is a rifle with a short barrel, its magazine located behind the pistol grip.
In the same time, a team of nine officers from the Indian Army will be globe-trotting in search of a rifle, from the US to Australia. Guns being made in the Chambal, notorious through the 1970s and the 1980s for dacoits wielding country-made firearms, kattas, is old hat.
Yet, when the Tavor X95 carbine is rolled out from the first private sector small arms factory at Malanpur near Gwalior by a joint venture between Punj Lloyd and Israel Weapons Industries (IWI) named Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems, it will frame a picture that is at once a snapshot of failure as it is promissory.
“The long-term potential market for rifles in India is about 4 million pieces spanning the armed forces and the services under the ministry of home affairs,” says Ashok Wadhawan, president (manufacturing), of the company. “Right now we are looking at the immediate orders for which the search committee will also be visiting Israel.” Read More