India to produce Kalashnikov’s AK-203 in near future
As per General Manoj Naravane, The Chief of the Indian Army, India will be soon signing a deal with the Russian Kalashnikov company, which will give India the license to produce AK-203 assault rifles. The rifles will be manufactured at a plant in Korva, Uttar Pradesh.
AK-203 is specially created for the Indian Army. It is a 7.62 X 39 mm assault rifle, with many upgrades as compared to the previous versions. It has a new handle that fits in the user’s grip, a retractable stock, and space to install modern sighting systems like optical or optoelectronic sensors and thermal imaging sights. Russian officials stated that the deal with India is in the last stages of negotiation and will be finalized soon. Both sides have agreed on the technical and commercial issues.
The assault rifle produced in India will cost Rs. 70 Thousand Indian rupees, which is far less than that produced in Russia, which costs Rs. 89 thousand. India is in a plan to manufacture as many as 671,427 rifles. Infrared illuminators can be mounted onto the rifle and can be integrated with night vision devices, laser lights, and quick release tactical silencers. This rifle, after modifications, has a better shooting accuracy. It has a standard bayonet knife fitted under the barrel, which can be used in hand-to-hand combat.
Rafale displayed its power in the Republic Day Parade
The newly acquired Rafale Fighter Jet of the Indian Air Force successfully participated in the Republic Day Parade for the first time. During the flypast, it created the ‘Vertical Charlie’ formation. It flew at low altitude, pulled up vertically, and conducted several rolls before stabilizing itself. Before the formation, it flew with 2 Jaguars and 2 MiG-29s, performed some manoeuvres, and wrapped up the flypast.
In total, 41 Aircraft of the Indian Air Force took part in the flypast in various formations. It included 21 helicopters, 16 fighter jets consisting of Sukhoi-30s and Rafale, five transport aircraft, and a vintage Dakota Aircraft from the Bangladesh Air Force.
India’s air defence power got a major boost after the induction of the French-made Rafale fighter jet. It is India’s first major acquisition of an imported fighter jet after Russian Sukhoi-30 fighters, which were inducted in 1997. India’s Rafale count will increase to 11 after three more jets will arrive by the end of January.5 jets were inducted in September 2020 while 3 in November 2020.
India develops a model of Smallest Assault Rifle: BABY TAR
Indian Ordnance Factory of Tiruchirappalli has developed the country’s smallest assault rifle, named ‘Baby TAR.’ TAR stands for Trichy Assault Rifle. The factory has been manufacturing AK-47 since 2017 and now has produced the compact version of it. It can fire 700 rounds of AK-47 bullets in one minute.
The ordinance factory produced many prototypes of this model during the lockdown. The final selected model passed a number of trials. Currently, the Indian Army is conducting unofficial trials of the rifle. It has a 7.62 X 39 mm cartridge, the same as that of AK-47, and has an effective range of 150 meters. AK-47 has a 16-inch barrel, while Baby TAR has an 8.3-inch barrel. Its length is 19.2 inches with stock folded. It weighs 2.7 kg, one kg lighter than the AK-47. It has two Picatinny rails, which can be used to mount numerous sights and scopes.
It can be brought into operation by special forces and counter-terrorist operations, where compact and concealable weapons are required. Vehicle, Aircraft, and Tank crews can also use this rifle. Previously produced INSAS Carbine gun by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had a problem of barrel heating and excessive sound. The bullet fired from a short barrel also produced a flash. The designers of Baby TAR solved this problem by designing a compact flash hider at the muzzle. They used the internal metal reflectors, which insulated the barrel’s foregrip, thus making it fire around 1200 rounds without the barrel getting heated up.
India’s defence forces have imported more than 5,00,000 Bulgarian AR-M1, a licensed copy of the Kalashnikov. Kalashnikov never patented the original design of AK-47; hence it is produced hassle-free worldwide. TAR costs around Rs. 55,000 apiece, while AK-203 costs Rs. 75,000. The compact version of TAR may cost less than the main version.
Bhavana Kanth and Preeti among the first women to lead contingents and the Republic Day Parade
India celebrated 72nd Republic Day on 26 January 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Parade saw many novelties. Most remarkable of those was the participation of India’s first female fighter pilot Flight Lieutenant Bhavana Kanth, with the IAF tableau showcasing Light Combat Aircraft, Sukhoi-30, and light combat helicopter.
Currently posted in Rajasthan, where she flies Mig-21 Bison, Bhavana Kanth was among the first batch of women fighter pilots commissioned in IAF along with Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh in 2016.
Also, among the firsts in the Republic Day parade was a flypast by newly inducted Rafael fighter jets. They were a part of vertical Charlie formation.
Captain Preeti Choudhary was the only woman from the Indian Army to be a part of the Parade. She represented her regiment, 140 Air defence regiment (self-propelled).
The tableau she was a part of featured an upgraded Schilka weapon system. It is equipped with modern radar and digital fire control computers having the ability to destroy wartime targets for low-level air defence in all weather.
This regiment has participated vigorously in various wars and operations of the Indian Army like the Indo-Pak war of 1965 and 1971, Operation Cactus Lily, Operation Parakram, Operation Trident, and Operation Riddle.