Archive for September, 2017

The Modern Sub Machine Carbine (MSMC) is possibly the only weapon designed, developed and manufactured in India with a cult following among gamers across the world. The futuristic looking carbine-a compact weapon that fires smaller calibre rounds than an assault rifle-clearly caught the attention of the designers of Call of Duty. Since 2012, players of the franchise’s Black Ops II have had the DRDO-designed MSMC as one among five carbine options.

Weapons free. Photo: Maneesh Agnihotri

No one is quite sure how the virtual version of the weapon showed up in American-produced pop culture. The actual weapon’s history, however, is somewhat chequered. It was developed by DRDO’s Pune-based Armaments Research and Development Establishment after the Army announced a contest in 2006 to replace all of its obsolete World War II era 9 mm carbines. The 5.56 mm MSMC has a 30-round magazine and can fire upto 900 rounds per minute. An indigenously-made holographic sight with an inbuilt red-dot laser pointer allows for accurate aiming up to the weapon’s 200 metre effective range, making it ideal for use in confined urban spaces. The weapon is produced by state-owned ordnance factories and is close to meeting the army’s rigorous testing standards.

As the DRDO-OFB combine wait for the Army order, they have decided to offer the carbine to the police and paramilitary forces. Their optimism is not unfounded. Police forces are looking to modernise WWII era weapon inventories. Imports are not just expensive, but also subject to controls by host nations- German manufacturer Heckler and Koch has repeatedly cited human rights violations by Indian security forces as reason to deny exports.

The Chhattisgarh police became the first to order the weapon this year-640 of them-with similar orders expected from the Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Meghalaya police. India’s paramilitary forces are another potential buyer. Its designers estimate the firearm has the potential to replace nearly 400,000 obsolete weapons, an order worth over Rs 45,000 crore (including ammunition).

“We have the production capacity to make around 35,000 such carbines each year,” says H.R. Dixit, general manager, Small Arms Factory (SAF), Kanpur. This Indian carbine’s transition from virtual to real could prove to be a potential game changer.

Advertisements
IN REVAMP MODE Move to also rebalance defence expenditure; this will be the first such exercise since Independence and will involve restructuring British era systems
The Centre has approved major reforms for the Indian Army aimed at enhancing combat capabilities and rebalancing defence expenditure. This will be the first such exercise since Independence and will involve restructuring British era systems. Posts of 57,000 officers, soldiers and civilians will be restructured and the Army would have state of art regimen and better logistic support units after the overhaul.There will be major changes to optimise signal establishments that handle the Army’s communication networks, restructuring repair echelons, redeploying ordnance echelons, better utilisation of transport echelons and closure of military farms and Army postal establishments in peace locations.

“These reforms will be completed by December 31, 2019. Restructuring by the Indian Army is aimed at enhancing combat capability in a manner that the officersJCOsORs will be used for improving operational preparedness and civilians will be redeployed in different wings of the Armed Forces for improving efficiency ,“ a defence ministry statement said. The savings can be utilised for overcoming deficiencies in combat arms, especially for officer cadre.For example, additional vacancies for commissioning officers in combat units like infantry , artillery, armour and mechanised infantry will be allotted to overcome these deficiencies. This way the `teeth to tail’ ratio (combat units to administrative + logistics ratio) would improve.

“The concept of warfare and logistics has changed over time, with modern mechanised forces and induction of new equipment in the Army. So this major reform was required,“ said a defence analyst. Due to this change in concept, there will be several redundant logistic units.

For instance, the signal regiments have undergone change due to change in electronic warfare. The development is similar for air support and logistics elements.

Moreover, the Army does not need elements such as military farms anymore, a British era concept that supplied fresh milk to Army units, due to the availability of packaged milk now. Similarly, the Army postal service is not required in peace stations as most official communications are sent by email over the Army Wireless Area Network. With the reforms, redundant ele ments will be remo ved and state of art regimen, such as for signals, can co me up. And techno logy will reduce the requirement of manpower.

 

The defence mini stry had constitu ted a committee un der Lt Gen DB She katkar to recom mend measures for enhancing combat capability and rebalancing defence expenditure of the armed forces. The aim was to increase teeth to tail ratio and have a judicious balance. The committee had submitted its report last December.Ninety-nine recommendations were sent to the armed forces for implementing the plan. Defence minister Arun Jaitley has approved 65 of the recommendations for implementation now.