India’s Ministry of Defence has issued a RFI for around 30,000 7.62mmx51mm light machine guns for the Indian Army.
As Jane’s 360 points out, the RFI is an addendum to an earlier RFI issued in Oct. 2017. This latest version contains more information in terms of the technical specifications the MoD is looking for with these LMGs. It’s estimated that the contract award is for 30 billion in India Rupees, or $429.4 million.
The MoD has set a response date of four weeks after initial publication of the RFI, which was on Aug. 21. They will then gather information based on vendor responses and issue a RFP tentatively in Oct. 2018.
According to The Hindu, India’s Defence Acquisition Council—the group in charge of procurement within the Ministry of Defence—approved the procurement of LMGs back in February. The Tribune reports that the total number to be procured is actually 40,949. Within that total, 30,712 will come from private industry in India—hence this RFI—while the remaining 10,237 will be sourced from the country’s state-run Ordnance Factory Board.
India’s Light Machine Guns
In very broad terms, here’s what the RFI lists as requirements for these light machine guns:
(a) Effective Range. Not less than 800 metres.
(b) Lethality. Lethality at ranges up to minimum 800 metres in terms of wound profile, energy transferred and penetration.
(c) Accuracy. The Light Machine Gun should be capable of achieving accuracy better than four Minutes of Angle up to a range of minimum 800 meters.
(d) Reliability. The Light Machine Gun should be reliable in its operation as per TOP 3-2-045 for reliability and withstand sustained fire.
(e) Weight. The Light Machine Gun should be as light as possible in weight.
(f) Sight. The Light Machine Gun should have integrated open sight.
(g) The Light Machine Gun should have compatibility with all modern sights and accessories and provision for mounting the same.
(h) In terms of design, metallurgy and performance parameters, the Light Machine Gun should remain relevant for its envisaged service life.
(j) The Light Machine Gun should be capable of providing the desired performance across all spectrums of employment in the Indian terrain and climatic conditions.
(k) The Light Machine Gun should comply with the laid down MIL Standards and other International Standards in vogue.