The Indian Ministry of Defence has contracted Israel Weapons Industries (IWI) to supply 16,479 Negev 7.62X51 mm Light Machine Guns (LMGs) for $116.4 million (INR 880 crore). India is the largest weapons importer of Israeli origin.
“The Indian Armed Forces’ long-standing requirement of a modern state-of-the-art Light Machine Gun (LMG) has finally fructified. The Acquisition Wing of Ministry of Defence has signed the capital acquisition contract with Israel Weapons Industries for procurement of 16,479 LMGs at a cost of Rs 880 crore with the approval of Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh,” the defence ministry said in a statement Friday.
India’s defence procurement body, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), greenlit the contract to buy the LMGs in February 2018.
The select-fire IWI Negev NG7 light machine gun was introduced in 2012. It has a weight of 17.41-pounds, providing a 7.62 NATO-caliber gun in a SAW-sized platform with either 16.5- or 20-inch barrel lengths.
These guns are being procured under the Fast Track Procedure (FTP). The FTP is to ensure expeditious procurement for urgent operational requirements of the regular and special forces. “The 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,” the ministry said.
India has also bought 72,400 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines for frontline troops under the FTP route.
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