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India’s first private-sector small arms manufacturing plant was inaugurated by the Indian group Punj Lloyd and its joint venture partner Israel Weapon Industries (IWI). The production of small arms will begin in India this year.

According to defense, the joint venture company Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems (PLR) will be manufacturing small arms for the Indian Defence Forces and also for export, Israel Weapon Industries reported.

This development has been in line with the Indian government’s efforts to persuade foreign arms manufacturers to share technology and make the products under the ‘Make in India’ program.

The IWI manufactures weapons such as TAVOR Assault Rifles, NEGEV Light Machine Guns, GALIL ACE Assault Rifles, GALIL SNIPER Semi-Automatic Rifle, UZI SMG and JERICHO pistols.

Punj Lloyd will manufacture 5.56x45mm Tavor assault rifles that can fire up to 950 rounds per minute, and X-95 short weapon with a long barrel, three-caliber weapon having 360° Picatinny rail.

Apart from assault rifles, the joint venture will also manufacture semi-automatic Negev (5.56X45mm and 7.62X51mm) assault light machine gun and 7.62x51mm semi-automatic Galil sniper rifles. The Galil sniper fires up to 1,000 meters, targeting small, mobile or concealed objectives.

Punj Lloyd has set its eye on the Indian Army’s plan to purchase 185,000 assault rifles with telescopic sights in future. However, the company expects the joint venture to make it big in all the procurement plans of armed forces related to small arms.

Punj Lloyd brings strong capabilities in defense across Land Systems, Aerospace, Small Arms and Homeland Security.

The objective is to develop genuine force multipliers in providing a decisive edge to the Indian Armed Forces and building a robust indigenous defense industrial base.