The Army is equipping over 400 of its infantry battalions with the American Sig Sauer assault rifles, procured under fast-tracked process (FTP). This decision is against the original plan to arm only its frontline troops with the latest weapon.
At least two companies (about 100 soldiers each) in all the infantry battalions are being given the Sig 716 irrespective of whether they are in the field or at peace stations. In December, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) had granted approval for the procurement of additional 72,400 Sig 716 rifles for approximately Rs 780 crore. This was also done under FTP and is part of the option clause of the original deal signed in 2019.
The Sig 716 rifles are more accurate and deadly than INSAS because of their high caliber 7.62 mm against 5.56 mm. It weighs just 3.82 Kg without the magazine. It has an effective kill range of 600 meters and has greater accuracy than INSAS.