(This article is originally posted by the India Today)
The Indian Army received the first consignment of 6,000 Israeli Negev Light Machine Guns out of the 16,000 ordered last year under the Fast Track Procedure.
Sources told that the guns were delivered earlier this month and are undergoing inspections.
The remaining guns are expected to be delivered by March, sources added.
The Defence Ministry had given approval in March 2019 for thelong-standing demand of a modern state-of-the-art Light Machine Guns (LMG) for the armed forces.
The nod was given by the Defence Acquisition Council headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
The Acquisition Wing of the Ministry of Defence had signed the capital acquisition contract with Israel Weapons Industries for procurement of 16,479 LMGs at a cost of Rs 880 crore.
In March 2020, India had signed a contract with Israel Weapons Industries (IWI) to procure 16,479 LMGs under Fast Track Procedure, which are worth Rs. 880 crore.
Indian Army required 40,000 LMGs in addition to assault rifles. The induction of new LMGs will add to the Army’s firepower amid the continuing tussle with China and skirmishes with Pakistan at the LoC, sources have said.
The Negev 7.62X51 mm Light Machine Gun is a combat-proven weapon and currently used by several countries around the globe. The guns will enhance the lethality and range of a soldier in combat situations, according to sources.
Under FTP equipment, procurement can be expedited in face of delays impacting the capacity of forces.
Sources have claimed that the weapon is needed for urgent operational needs and critical operations. It will boost the confidence of the frontline troops and provide much-needed combat power to the Armed Forces, the Defence Ministry had said while approving the procurement earlier.
The IWI Negev (also known as the Negev NG-5) is a 5.56 x 45 mm Nato light machine guns developed by the Israeli firearm manufacturer, Israel weapon Industries (IWI), formerly Israel MilitaryIndustries Ltd (IMI) of Ramat HaSharon.