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INSAS


The Indian National Small Arms System (INSAS) is a family of infantry weapons consisting of an assault rifle, a light machine gun (LMG), and a carbine. A folding butt Paratroop version of the assault rifle also exists. INSAS has been in development since the mid-1980s under the auspices of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and Armaments Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune.

The INSAS 5.56mm assault rifle is a gas-operated selective fire weapon which shows an interesting blend of features culled from a variety of sources: receiver and pistol grip (Kalashnikov); butt, gas regulator and flash-hider (FN FAL); Fore-end (AR-15); cocking handle (H&K).

The gas system operates the usual front locking rotating bolt. Sheet metal pressings (1.8mm thick) are used for the receiver and the barrel bore is chrome plated. All furniture is made from a plastic-based material. The magazine housing accommodates standard M16 magazines, although the standard magazine is made of semi-transparent plastic and holds 20 rounds; the 30-round magazine for the INSAS LMG can also be used.

Army is using the service of assault rifle and LMG from the INSAS family. The INSAS assault rifle provides a much awaited replacement for the cumbersome 7.62 mm Ishapore FN FAL. In line with the Indian Army's standardization plans, the INSAS also allows the Army to begin replacement all rifles presently in service.

The INSAS system was originally planned to have three component weapons: a standard rifle, a carbine, and a squad automatic rifle (LMG), all chambered for 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition.

INSAS introduction was delayed due to the lack of an indigenous facility to produce the needed 5.56X45mm SS109-based ammunition. 50 million Indian Standard rounds (with options on a further 50 million rounds) were ordered from Israel Military Industries in 1997. The INSAS appears to have entered full service with the Indian Army during late 1997.

For the first time in 1998 Republic Day parade, INSAS featured its marching contingents.

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