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A rifle for fighting, not for fun: India must give more thought to the foot soldier and his weapon

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A rifle for fighting, not for fun: India must give more thought to the foot soldier and his weapon

Postby mundaire » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:19 pm

Of course the reason why we are able to send a mission to Mars but can't make a decent battle rifle is... successive governments have ensured that the private small arms industry (in India) is all but non-existent. Even now with all the noise about #MakeInIndia and the government handing out manufacturing licenses to private players, they are missing the most important point. Once government orders are completed, who will these factories sell/ supply to? In most free countries, this slack is taken up by manufacture for the civilian trade. Will they ever see the light and allow this ecosystem to develop here?

Cheers!
Abhijeet

Source: https://scroll.in/article/842063/a-rifl ... his-weapon

A rifle for fighting, not for fun: India must give more thought to the foot soldier and his weapon
It has already been six years since the army decided to phase out the INSAS rifle and started the search for a leaner, meaner machine.
29 June 2017 05:30 pm
Mohan Guruswamy

Image
There are reports that say Indian infantrymen in combat zones prefer to fight with AK-47 rifles, just like US infantrymen in the Vietnam war preferred it to the M-14 rifle.

Field Marshal Archibald Wavell, who was a distinguished infantryman with the British Army before he became a somewhat less distinguished viceroy of India, wrote, “Let us be clear about three facts: first, all battles and all wars are won, in the end, by the infantryman. Secondly, the infantryman always bears the brunt; his casualties are heavier, he suffers greater extremes of discomfort and fatigue than the other combat arms. Thirdly, the art of the infantryman is less stereotyped, and far harder to acquire in modern war, than that of any other arm.”

The United States Marine Corps’ Rifleman’s Creed teaches:
“My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me.”

Down to the basics, soldiering is about killing. An army that does it best wins.

In the 1953 best-seller Battle Cry by Leon Uris, a Marine recruit is punished for the transgression of calling a rifle a gun by being asked to do rounds of the drilling ground, naked and chanting, “This is my rifle, this is my gun. This is for fighting, this is for fun!”

In military parlance, a gun can be anything that fires a projectile. A howitzer (which fires shells at high trajectories) is a gun, as is a cannon. The rifle is a specific weapon used by a soldier. It is a gun fired from shoulder level with a long spirally grooved barrel intended to make a bullet spin and thereby have greater accuracy over a long distance. It is what a soldier mostly uses to do his work. Stalin famously said: “The only real power comes out of a long rifle.” The American general Douglas MacArthur typically put it into context when he said, “Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons.”

Small is better?

Their development owes to a well-known post-World War II study of the pattern of usage of weapons by US infantrymen in combat, by the military analyst Brigadier SLA Marshall. The study revealed that most infantrymen used their weapons very little, preferring to take cover and firing occasionally. It also found that the infantrymen most likely to fire their weapons were those closest to a soldier firing a Browning Automatic Rifle. This was because when the BAR man fired, he was able to literally hose down a wide arc in front of him. When he did this, the opposing soldiers lay low and the infantrymen by his side could rise from behind cover and fire their weapons. This clearly suggested a need for greater deployment of automatic weapons.

The reader may wonder, why a smaller calibre weapon, when it seems that for most things in life bigger is better? This change in thinking, as far as rifles are concerned, was the result of three observations. First, a large calibre (bullet diameter) round, 7.65 mm or .30 calibre, needed a large explosive charge to propel it at the desired speed of up to 800 meters per second. The recoil, as a result of this explosive charge in the automatic fire mode, often made the weapon virtually uncontrollable. Not only was the soldier unable to aim properly, the recoil often caused injuries.

The other observation was that what was needed was not a marksman’s weapon firing accurately up to 800 meters. Statistical analysis by the US Army of rifle engagements in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars revealed that 90% of them were at ranges less than 300 meters and 70% at 200 meters and less. Therefore, the emphasis on long-range accuracy of 300 meters to 800 meters was found somewhat redundant.

What followed from the increasing dependence on automatic weapons was that greater quantities of ammunition were now needed. The propensity to consume ammunition reached an astounding rate of 50,000 rounds per kill in the Korean War in the 1950s. This meant that a soldier now had to carry greater quantities of ammunition. The smaller the calibre, the greater the number of bullets a soldier can carry into the battlefield.

The debate is coming full circle now. After 50 years, militaries the world over, especially those that have fought long wars, are actively considering going back to the old 7.62 round. This is mostly because of the development of the soldier’s armour, which can easily stop a 5.56 round. Riflemen want stopping power. The reduced weight of the 5.56 also means reduced lethality. Battlefield experience also tells that while the 5.56 round does more damage, it kills less. It leaves behind wounded soldiers still capable of combat. American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have discovered at great cost that a wounded but determined soldier can exact as much damage as an able-bodied one.

In India, a 6-year wait

The INSAS or Indian New Small Arms System rifle drew heavily from other designs but never really performed like any of them. During the Kargil conflict in 1999 – when the Indian Army engaged the Pakistan military after it took positions on the Indian side of the Line of Control – many damaged weapons returned to the factory and fresh lots had to be sent out. There were complaints of jamming, magazines (cartridge holders) cracking due to the cold, and rifles going into automatic mode when they were set for three-round bursts. There was also a problem of oil being sprayed into the eye of the operator. Some injuries during firing practice were also reported.

The Nepalese Army had similar complaints. In August 2005, after 43 soldiers were killed in a clash with Maoists, a Nepalese Army spokesman called the rifles they used substandard and said the counter-insurgency operation would have been more efficient with better weapons.

Even now we hear of Indian infantrymen in combat zones preferring to fight with AK-47 rifles, just like US infantrymen in Vietnam preferred it to the M-14 rifle, which was said to be more likely to jam.

Recognising this, the Indian Army has now decided to phase out the INSAS. In 2011, it issued tenders for a new quartet of infantry weapons. Whatever its choice, the army must get on quickly with its final evaluations and take a decision soon. Considering the time taken – six years – clearly a sense of urgency needs to prevail.

Last week, the Indian Army rejected an indigenously built assault rifle, citing poor quality and ineffective firepower, and is likely to take a fresh call soon on procuring similar weapons to replace the INSAS rifles. The army rejected the 7.62x51 mm guns built by the Rifle Factory Ishapore after they failed the firing tests. It was reported that the rifles had an “excessive number of faults”. The army had earlier rejected another indigenously built assault rifle, the 5.56 mm Excalibur, as it did not meet the required standards.

Given the pattern of our recent defence spends, it seems our strategists have reverted to the old habit of spending all on the big and extravagant and least likely to be used than on arms for the foot soldier who, in the ultimate analysis, even today, still wins or loses battles for his country. Thus, while debates have raged and money has obviously been made on the purchase of the Russian-made Sukhoi SU-30 jets, the Rafale jets from France, the 155 mm self-propelled guns and Main Battle Tanks, nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, little thought has been given to the foot soldier and his weapon. This is the weapon that is used for fighting and not for fun on Republic Day at Rajpath.


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Re: A rifle for fighting, not for fun: India must give more thought to the foot soldier and his weapon

Postby AgentDoubleS » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:58 pm

Give this man a cookie!

A pleasure to read,both for the content and the language flair.



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Re: A rifle for fighting, not for fun: India must give more thought to the foot soldier and his weapon

Postby ganeshn » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:01 pm

we need someone like kim jong un for defense manufacturing then all out talent will come out like a tsunami, the demeanor of staff working in defense PSU look as inspiring as any babu in nagar palika of a 3rd tier city, nothing more nothing less.i have my brains in knots understanding why we remain so ill prepared for so long and have so little clarity on what we must have.finally its dawned that 7.62 is better than 5.56 for our neighbor which doesn't claim its solders bodies.
seeing the current escalation levels on 2.5 front it is highly imperative that we get off the shelf AK ASAP from Eastern block like e.g., Bulgaria in shiploads, going at roughly 3K per piece, how much cheaper can it get.throw the money and get the damn thing!
had the Ishapore Rifle Factory been situated in state of Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra or Gujarat it would still have been a ray of hope.



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Re: A rifle for fighting, not for fun: India must give more thought to the foot soldier and his weapon

Postby pistolero » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:58 am

Given the time it will take to develop a new platform, and given that 7.62x51 is the chosen Caliber. It would have to be a import, locally assembled for "Make in India"

If this would be the case, what would be the preferred choice:

1) FN SCAR 17

2) Zatsava Bren M77

3) SIG 716

4) FN FAL/A.K.A L1A1 Remake??

5) Tavor in 7.62 (heard its already announced as a ready product) or the IWI ACE 52

6) AR Platform .308 (Daniel Defense, Knights Armament etc etc)

7) AK 15??

8) HK 231/417

9) Beretta ARX 200

10) Fabryka Broni

Given time, and allowing small firms to design and develop small arms, we would have some great local offerings. I dont know if this will ever happen. BUT I hope it does.

Look forward to hearing all your thoughts.


Regards,
-P


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Re: A rifle for fighting, not for fun: India must give more thought to the foot soldier and his weapon

Postby xl_target » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:12 am

Some supposition and wishful thinking in the article.

The debate is coming full circle now. After 50 years, militaries the world over, especially those that have fought long wars, are actively considering going back to the old 7.62 round.

As far as I know none of the NATO countries are actively considering this.
They all already have 7.62 X 51 rifles in inventory for specific tasks but nowhere (except this article) have I seen any mention that they are considering dumping the 5.56 round in favor of 7.62.

This is mostly because of the development of the soldier’s armour, which can easily stop a 5.56 round. Riflemen want stopping power.

Regular body armor doesn't stop rifle rounds (including 5.56 X 45 NATO, 7.62 X39, etc).
You have to insert ceramic plates in the plate carrier pockets of the body armor to stop rifle rounds. Then it will stop up to 7.62X51 NATO rounds.
So if your sole purpose to go up in caliber is to defeat body armor, you aren't going to gain anything by going to 7.62 X 51


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Re: A rifle for fighting, not for fun: India must give more thought to the foot soldier and his weapon

Postby goodboy_mentor » Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:21 am

xl_target wrote:Regular body armor doesn't stop rifle rounds (including 5.56 X 45 NATO, 7.62 X39, etc). You have to insert ceramic plates in the plate carrier pockets of the body armor to stop rifle rounds. Then it will stop up to 7.62X51 NATO rounds.
If regular body armor without ceramic plates cannot stop rifle rounds, then what does it stop? Can regular body armor with ceramic plates be defeated by armor piercing rounds of rifles having steel cores etc.?


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Re: A rifle for fighting, not for fun: India must give more thought to the foot soldier and his weapon

Postby veeveeaar » Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:12 pm

The present Govt and all its blah blah of make in INDIA !!. I see nothing but only declarations. If the Govt Of India, floats a global competetion to select a worthy Infantry rifle family, of Assault, LMG,MMG, Carbine, Sniper and Handgun or the best for every kind and asks the Industry majors or the much talked ''STATRT UPS"" to manufacture these in JOINT VENTURE MODE, we can in a matter of months, overcome this problem.IT IS BETTER TO MAKE GOOD , THE ASSETS OF IOF FOR REALESTATE OR JUST RENT THESE FACILITIES TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR MINUS THE GOVT OFFICIALS AND STAFF .WE can see magick in INDIA. [glow=red]THIS IS URGENT Jai Hind



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Re: A rifle for fighting, not for fun: India must give more thought to the foot soldier and his weapon

Postby pistolero » Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:43 pm

Dear XL,

I do understand that all vests as per their class are bullet resistant and not bullet proof.

I believe the purpose of the Ceramic/Trauma Plate is to absorb the Kinetic Energy, and dissipate the impact? But will the vest not prevent the round from entering? There are some sort of serrated rounds, which will pierce Kevlar, in this case the Plates would be a must I guess??

Also a Class 3/4 armour would be heavy!

What is your take on the new age Graphene Body Armour. Have these actually been deployed? Or is it still under development?

To answer GBM's query to some extent I am adding this video Below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gyfx-pJhO4


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Re: A rifle for fighting, not for fun: India must give more thought to the foot soldier and his weapon

Postby xl_target » Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:45 pm

goodboy_mentor wrote:
xl_target wrote:Regular body armor doesn't stop rifle rounds (including 5.56 X 45 NATO, 7.62 X39, etc). You have to insert ceramic plates in the plate carrier pockets of the body armor to stop rifle rounds. Then it will stop up to 7.62X51 NATO rounds.
If regular body armor without ceramic plates cannot stop rifle rounds, then what does it stop? Can regular body armor with ceramic plates be defeated by armor piercing rounds of rifles having steel cores etc.?


Hopefully, this will answer both GBM's questions and those of pistolero.
Keep in mind that my discussion here is about body armor as worn by US soldiers in the field. I don't know enough about gear in any other country's armed forces.
What they wear now is called the IOTV (Improved Outer Tactical Vest). It has been fielded since 2007.
The regular armor will stop pistol rounds and some shrapnel. For protection against rifle rounds, you need the aforementioned ceramic plates.
Plates only cover certain areas in the front, back and (optionally) sides.

Image
A Marine holding an ESAPI plate that stopped a round
Here what Wikipedia says about the IOTV
The vest can withstand a direct impact from a 7.62 millimeter (both NATO and ex-Soviet types) on the front or rear if using the older SAPI plates (NIJ standard III). Use of the new E-SAPI plates increase protection to armor-piercing versions of the aforementioned rounds in addition to .30-06 Springfield M2 armor-piercing rounds (NIJ standard IV). The IOTV provides, without the ballistic ceramic plates inserted, protection from small caliber rounds (i.e. 9mm) and fragmentation.


All current and former Warsaw Pact 7.63X39 ammunition is steel core. In my experience, at 100 yards, they will often go through 1/4" mild steel.
7.62 X 51 NATO will easily defeat a 1/4" mild steel plate at 100 yards. The ceramic plates will stop both rounds. A common sniper round used in the middle east is the 7.62 x 54, which will also be stopped by the plates.
Keep in mind that even many hunting loads (.308 Winchester/.30-06 Springfield) with non-steel core ammo will defeat 1/4" plate. Rifle bullets carry a tremendous amount of energy compared to pistol bullets.


..and yes, it is very heavy and very hot, especially when worn in the middle east.


pistolero,
AR500 armor is a hardened steel plate encapsulated to prevent spalling. It is heavy as Frick.
It is not the same as the ceramic plate worn by soldiers. It is meant for us poor civilians who can't afford the expensive stuff that the US Govt provides to its soldiers.
Weight wise, think of it as comparing a china dinner plate to a solid steel plate of the same dimensions.


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Re: A rifle for fighting, not for fun: India must give more thought to the foot soldier and his weapon

Postby goodboy_mentor » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:10 am

Thanks pistolero and xl_target for answering the question with details.


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Re: A rifle for fighting, not for fun: India must give more thought to the foot soldier and his weapon

Postby pistolero » Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:48 am

XL thank you for info.

Would love to know more about the Graphene armour. Seems too good to be true. Any inputs would be appreciated.

GBM, always a pleasure

Regards,
-P


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Re: A rifle for fighting, not for fun: India must give more thought to the foot soldier and his weapon

Postby mundaire » Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:16 pm

One more related article on Scroll.in today.

https://scroll.in/article/842307/why-is ... -the-1980s

Why is the Indian Army still using outdated assault rifles designed in the 1980s?
The country’s defence planning and procurement system is broken.
Saikat Datta


In 2011, the Indian Army floated a tender for the supply of multi-caliber assault rifles to replace its existing INSAS, or Indian Small Arms System rifles, which were inducted around 1988, and are outdated. Six years later, the Army’s requirements have still not been met, and the majority of its troops are still saddled with INSAS rifles (There were reports last year that the government had cleared the purchase of 185,000 modern assault rifles, but no tenders have been issued so far.)

Last year, the Army rejected the indigenously developed Excalibur made by the Defence Research and Development Organisation as it did not meet the required standards, and in June, it rejected another indigenous weapon built by the Ishapore Rifle Factory, in West Bengal, after it failed firing tests.

The inability of the Indian government to provide its soldiers with their most basic fighting weapons is a severe indictment of how broken the defence planning and procurement system is.

A brief history
India fought the short 1962 war with China using the vintage Enfield .303 bolt action rifles, which had a deadly effect, but were horribly outdated by that time. Chinese troops carried their versions of the venerable AK-47 and were much better prepared, overrunning Indian troops easily.
After the war, the need for a new rifle for the Army led to the Ishapore Rifle Factory developing the 7.62 mm Ishapore Self-Loading Rifle, which was a copy of the Belgian FN-FAL rifle. However, this too was a single-shot rifle, and outlived its utility by the late 1970s.

In 1987, when the Indian Army was rushed to Sri Lanka for a peace keeping mission during the island nation’s civil war, its personnel were still carrying Ishapore self-loading rifles, which were nearly 20 years old by then. This weapon is deadly but bulky, and was no match for the Russian AK-47, the preferred weapon of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which targeted the Indian forces.

The worst off were the para-commandos. This was a time when the three battalions of the Indian Army were still to be renamed the Special Forces. The para commandos were expected to carry out special operations, which normal Infantry units were not trained or equipped to do. But for this, they too had to depend on the bulky Ishapore, or the vintage carbine that was an improved version of the World War II Sten gun that had been developed by the British as a cheap weapon to quickly replace losses in the war. Clearly, the Indian Army was woefully ill-equipped for battle.

Worried at this mismatch in firepower, the Defence Research and Development Organisation, tasked with developing new weapons for the Army, hastily tried to produce a fully-automatic rifle by modifying the Ishapore Self-Loading Rifle. But every burst of fire from this rifle produced such recoil that the weapon would start pointing skywards as soon as the trigger was pressed. It proved to be a disaster in battle and was quickly abandoned.

Work began on producing a new rifle, with a smaller calibre, which would be lighter and more effective. This 5.56 mm calibre weapon was developed by the Pune-based Armament Development Research Establishment and called the INSAS. It was originally envisaged as a family of weapons with different capabilities for varied uses. But none of the others ever materialised.

The INSAS has features copied from several different rifles, making it a mishmash of various designs without any thought to the specific needs of the Indian soldier. The Indian Army has been lugging around this rifle for nearly 30 years now.

Rifle development
Ideally, the development of rifles is a scientific process, which involves the experience of the fighting troops and the strategic aims of the country they serve. Every great rifle, be it the AK-47 or the United States’ M4, has gone through extensive battlefield research before it was developed and brought into service.

Researchers developing these rifles looked at reliability under adverse conditions, fire power, ease of use, weight and ergonomics. They looked at past data of how many bullets were expended to kill a single enemy and produced designs that addressed a host of complex requirements.
Unfortunately, in India, despite the rich experience of the Indian Army soldier, these inputs have never been taken into account. For instance, the Indian soldier fights in vastly different terrain – from the heights of Ladakh to the jungles of the North East to the deserts of Rajasthan. From moisture to dust and extreme temperatures, they contend with a variety of conditions.

However, rifle designers at the Defence Research and Development Organisation and Armament Development Research Establishment have always borrowed from the West, without looking at local requirements or strategic interests. While designing the INSAS, designers went by NATO concepts. At that time, the NATO militaries were re-thinking the calibre of their weapons and decided to go with the 5.56 mm version. The idea behind it drew on the wars in the past. The western rifle designers felt that lower calibre bullets would allow soldiers to carry more weight. But the most important consideration was the belief that the smaller calibre would only injure the enemy, and not kill. This would mean that an injured soldier would end up bogging down at least three others, who would need to carry him, therefore tying down more troops. However, there was just one problem with this premise. Body armour was being developed simultaneously, and it soon rendered the 5.56 mm weapon useless.

In India, police forces armed with the INSAS 5.56 mm rifles in Chhattisgarh have frequently complained of the rifle’s lack of stopping power in their skirmishes with Maoists. In Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Army set aside the unreliable INSAS and took to the AK-47 for its counter-insurgency operations. Clearly, none of these experiences were taken seriously. It is no wonder then that when the Defence Research and Development Organisation offered the Army its latest assault rife, the Excalibur, the Army rejected it.

The INSAS is not a very efficient rifle either, with frequent jamming. In Siachen, it proved to be so unreliable – for instance, the rifle’s magazine (ammunition storage) would crack – that soldiers would keep AK-47s handy. Lieutenant General Prakash Katoch, who was the commander of the Siachen Brigade, experienced this firsthand and recorded it in a piece he wrote recently. Katoch would also play a role in trying to improve the condition of the Special Forces, which needed a special rifle of its own.

As the Deputy Director General of Special Operations, Katoch travelled to Israel with a delegation in May 2004 to urgently seek replacements for the ageing AK-47 MK VZ version of the rifles in service with the Special Forces. After extensive trials, they chose the Israeli Tavor, which arrived nearly a decade later.

The search continues
The search for a modern rifle for the Indian Army continued, with Army Headquarters, at one point, also suggesting a rifle with interchangeable barrels. This was based on an idea that the soldier could carry both barrels and change them to fire different kinds of ammunition. However, the fact that this would significantly increase the weight each soldier would have to carry killed the idea, which was inherently flawed anyway.

By now, the world has moved into a new “bull-pup design” for rifles. In this design, the ammunition magazine comes behind the pistol grip, ensuring a smaller and more compact design. Many militaries across the world, from the United Kingdom to France to China have adopted this design. The Excalibur continues to follow the old design. The lack of a good and dependable assault rifle for India’s 1.3 million strong Army should have been a priority. Unfortunately, red tape has managed to deny its soldiers even this.


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Re: A rifle for fighting, not for fun: India must give more thought to the foot soldier and his weapon

Postby pistolero » Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:42 pm

Raking it up again :D :wink:

1) FN SCAR 17

2) Zatsava Bren M77

3) SIG 716

4) FN FAL/A.K.A L1A1 Remake??

5) Tavor in 7.62 (heard its already announced as a ready product) or the IWI ACE 52

6) AR Platform .308 (Daniel Defense, Knights Armament etc etc)

7) AK 15??

8) HK 231/417

9) Beretta ARX 200

10) Fabryka Broni

Which one would you choose and why??


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Re: A rifle for fighting, not for fun: India must give more thought to the foot soldier and his weapon

Postby xl_target » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:45 am

However, rifle designers at the Defence Research and Development Organisation and Armament Development Research Establishment have always borrowed from the West, without looking at local requirements or strategic interests. While designing the INSAS, designers went by NATO concepts. At that time, the NATO militaries were re-thinking the calibre of their weapons and decided to go with the 5.56 mm version. The idea behind it drew on the wars in the past. The western rifle designers felt that lower calibre bullets would allow soldiers to carry more weight. But the most important consideration was the belief that the smaller calibre would only injure the enemy, and not kill. This would mean that an injured soldier would end up bogging down at least three others, who would need to carry him, therefore tying down more troops. However, there was just one problem with this premise. Body armour was being developed simultaneously, and it soon rendered the 5.56 mm weapon useless.


Where else would they look for inspiration on weapons design but the west?
Every modern army uses a 5.56 mm or similar cartridge, even the Russians and the Chinese.

The problem with the INSAS system is not just the rifle, it is the crappy ammo as well.
The problem is not so much the design of the weapon, as it is who it is made by.
Remember, even the US closed down its US Army Ordnance Corps arsenals (Springfield Armory, Rock Island, etc) because of concerns with incompetence and the refusal to adapt and change.

BTW, a 20 year old weapon system doesn't have to be obsolete. It is usually just rounding out its development cycle by then. The AK 47 was developed in 1947. The AKM, which is an improved version of the AK47 came into service in 1959. The AK74 was fielded in 1974. The UK SA80 system was designed in the late 1970's and early 1980's. The German G36 was fielded in 1997. The Steyr AUG came into service in 1978.


Body armor is not the be all and end all of protection. Basic body armor, worn by most soldiers in modern armies, is easily penetrated by most modern rifle rounds (including most hunting rifles). Only the woefully ignorant would make the claim that it is proof against 5.56 X 45
Unless you have something like the SAPI plates inserted, it is useless against rifle rounds. If you have the plates inserted, then even 7.62X51 won't penetrate. If using the newer SAPI plates, .30-06 armor piercing rounds won't penetrate.

Image
MTV body armor. You can see here that the plates cover the vitals only.
Any area that is not covered by plates can be penetrated by rifle rounds.


The problem with larger, more powerful rounds in an assault weapon is that they make the weapon uncontrollable in full auto.
You have to use a less powerful, intermediate size round if you want to use full auto effectively.

As far as not being able to kill with a 5.56 caliber round, tell that to legions of Jihadi's in the middle east and Afghanistan who came up against people who actually used the sights on their rifles.
What was the famous quote from the Iraqi army? "Only women and Americans use the sights on their rifles".
Remember, the M855 round that the US uses now is supposed to penetrate a steel helmet at 600 yards. From personal observation, I don't know if it will because I've never shot at a steel helmet.


“Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense” — Winston Churchill, Oct 29, 1941


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