Updated January 9th, 2024 at 11:51 IST
DRDO Unveils New 7.62mm Assault Rifle 'Ugram' Made in Record 100 Days
DRDO, along with a Hyderabad firm, has introduced the 'Ugram' in a record time of 100 days to address operational curbs caused by import dependency.
Pune: A new indigenous, first-of-its-kind 7.62 x 51 mm calibre assault rifle named 'Ugram' (meaning 'ferocious') has been unveiled. Developed jointly by the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and a Hyderabad-based private firm, this rifle marks a 'first-of-its-kind' feat, accomplished within a record time period of 100 days, according to reports on Tuesday, January 9.
Officials mentioned that the rifle is designed to meet the operational requirements of the Indian armed forces, paramilitary forces, and state police forces. Weighing less than four kilograms, the gun would have an effective firing range of 500 metres and a magazine size of 20 rounds. According to reports, the rifles are comparable to the newest AR or AK pattern rifles currently in service.
The 'Ugram' rifle was unveiled by Shailendra Gade, Director General of the Armament and Combat Engineering (ACE) system at DRDO.
Importance Amidst Security Landscape
This new 'first-of-its-kind' weapon is the result of intensive development, adhering to the General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQRs) outlined by the Indian Army for assault rifles. With a significant shortfall in assault rifles in the armed forces compounded by disruptions in the import of AK-203 rifles due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the 'Ugram rifle' emerges as a critical solution amidst the current security landscape. Additionally, this unveiling comes at a time when the government has approved the procurement of 70,000 SiG rifles for Rs 800 crore, in addition to the 72,000 procured back in 2020.
Development Phase and Future Plans
As per reports, A Raju, Director of ARDE, underlined the lab's contribution to designing the weapon and introduced the concept of 'Development cum Production Partner (DCPP)' to execute this project in collaboration with the private firm. Raju highlighted the forthcoming internal trials aimed at comprehensively testing various aspects of the weapon before initiating user trials.
Acknowledging the time-consuming nature of weapon testing, officials stressed the importance of meeting the forces' basic requirements, including accuracy, functionality, and performance. Consequently, a board of officers, representing the Indian Army, is also set to conduct exhaustive user trials in diverse environmental conditions, spanning high-altitude terrains and deserts in the following months.Adding to the intrigue,ARDE officials, in collaboration with members of private firms, were able to develop the 'Ugram' rifle within a record period of 100 days, bringing it to reality. This remarkable achievement was due to the pre-existing design groundwork laid by the ARDE, lauded by the Director.
G. Ram Chaitanya Reddy, Director of Dvipa Armour India, highlighted their role as one of the 30 licensed manufacturers for armed forces' weapons, explaining this venture as a successful joint project completed within a record timeframe. Reddy announced the development of five rifles for initial testing, with plans to supply an additional 15 rifles to ARDE for advanced testing.
Establishment of a Barrel Manufacturing Facility
An important development accompanying the launch of the 'Ugram' rifle is the establishment of a dedicated barrel manufacturing facility at ARDE, powered by a substantial investment of Rs 60 crore from DRDO. This facility aims to expedite the production of barrels for various weapons, reducing reliance on imports. Notably, the advanced machinery imported from Austria signifies a leap in indigenous barrel manufacturing capabilities.
PS Prasad, Project Director at ARDE's small arms section overseeing the facility, explained the importance of this initiative in aiding private industries that lacked the technology and infrastructure to produce barrels. According to the ARDE project Director, this move aims to support these firms, reducing their dependence on costly imports while leveraging the expertise and technology available at ARDE.
Published January 9th, 2024 at 11:51 IST