Owing to an indigenous upgrade option brought in by an Indian manufacturer, the Indian Army’s ever-reliable AK-47 assault rifle has just grown deadlier and more stable.
SSS Defence, based in Bengaluru, received a contract from an elite unit of the Indian Army in October last year, beating out an Israeli firm, and delivered its upgrade kits to the Army on Wednesday, according to the company.
A new collapsible buttstock for the rifle is included in the new package, which makes it easier for the soldier to use.
The modification also includes a redesigned dust cover that allows for the attachment of sights, which was previously unavailable on the AK-47. The soldier’s aim will be aided by the sights.
The front section has been modified to enable the addition of a bipod or a knife if necessary.
A hand-guard and vertical grip are included in the modification kits, giving the soldier a more comfortable and stable firing position.
Until now, Israel’s Fab Defense held a stranglehold on the modification of AK-47s in India.
Fab Defense had managed to update a few thousand Kalashnikov rifles over the last decade, and multiple Army units had been modernising their Kalashnikovs to suit modern warfare.
The upgrades are generally carried out by soldiers based in Jammu and Kashmir since, while the AK-47s are lethal, they lack many of the capabilities that a contemporary weapon would have.
“The AK-47s are a preferred choice because of their dependability and ease of use. The upgrades allow the soldier better grip, firing position, and accuracy. These upgrades are being done at the unit level,” a source in the defence and security establishment said.
The modification kits, according to the source, give the weapon an entirely new look and feel.
Indian Army to modernise the iconic Dragunov rifle
SSS Defence is also chasing a deal with the Indian Army to modernise the iconic Dragunov rifle, popularly known as the DSR in the military.
A Request for Proposal (tender) has been issued by Northern Command for the upgrade of 90 pieces of the approximately three-decade-old rifle. The DSR is reported to have between 6,000 and 7,000 pieces in the Indian Army’s inventory.
While the Russian producer of the Kalashnikov rifle has also developed an update, the programme is noted in the defence ministry’s negative import list from August 2020.
A new tactical buttstock with a built-in monopod and adjustable cheek rest, according to SSS Defence, considerably decreases recoil.