Assault Rifles of the Indian Armed Forces

Indian Army Assault Rifles

Guys, Did you know that the Indian Army is the second largest army in the world. An army this big and powerful requires the best equipment whether it would be weapons, tanks, aircrafts etc. 

If we talk about the weapons the most important and common weapons that are used by any military are the assault rifles. They are so common that you might have seen them in the hands of every soldier on duty. 

In this article we are going to tell you about the assault rifles used by the Indian Army.

What are Assault Rifles ?

An assault rifle is a selective fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. They had become the standard weapon in most of the world’s armies, replacing full-powered rifles and sub-machine guns in most roles.The two most successful modern assault rifles are the AK-47 and the M16 designs and their derivatives.

The StG 44 is generally considered the first selective fire military rifle to popularize the assault rifle concept. Today, the term assault rifle is used to define firearms sharing the same basic characteristics as the StG 44.

Did you know ?

The first assault rifle to see major usage was the German StG 44.

The Indian Army uses 13 different kinds of assault rifles that are listed below. 

1B1 INSAS5.56×45mm NATOIndia
AK-2037.62×39mmIndia and Russia
SIG 716i7.62×51mm NATOUnited States
FN SCAR L5.56×45mm NATOBelgium
FN SCAR H7.62x51mm NATOBelgium
IWI X955.56×45mm NATOIsrael
IMI Tavor TAR-215.56×45mm NATOIsrael
M4 carbine5.56×45mm NATOUnited States
T91 assault rifle5.56×45mm NATOTaiwan
AKM7.62×39mmSoviet Union
AK-477.62×39mmSoviet Union
MPi-KMS-727.62×39mmEast Germany
Vz. 587.62×39mmCzechoslovakia



INSAS or Indian Small Arms System consists of an assault rifle and a light machine gun (LMG). It was designed by the Armament Research and Development Establishment and manufactured by the Ordnance Factories Board at its various factories. 

These assault rifles were used in Kargil war, Nepalese Civil War and Naxalite Moist Insurgency to maintain peace and order.

In 2012, around 1,00,000 were built and until 2019 around 7,00,000 to 9,00,000 were built.



The AK-203 is a Russian gas-operated, magazine-fed, select fire assault rifle designed to chamber the 7.62×39mm cartridge. It is one of the latest iterations of the AK series of assault rifles originally designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov. The AK-203 was developed in the 2010s by Kalashnikov Concern in Russia.

The Indian Army is procuring 6,70,000 AK-203 assault rifles. They will replace INSAS assault rifles. Around 70,000 rifles will be purchased and the rest 6,00,000 will be built in India under a transfer of technology agreement.

SIG 716i

SIG 716i

SIG 716i features a direct impingement gas system instead of short-stroke pushrod gas system. This operating system has helped Sig Sauer to bring down the cost of manufacturing and push more sales of 716i, while improving weight reduction. The 716i is chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO.

The Indian Army has placed an order for 72,400 units. In december 2019, Indian Armed Forces received 10,000 rifles. 

They placed another order of 72,000 rifles which will be received after the completion of the first order.



The FN SCAR (Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle) is a family of gas-operated automatic rifles developed by Belgian manufacturer FN Herstal (FN) in 2004.  The SCAR-L, for “light”, is chambered in 5.56×45mm NATO and the SCAR-H, for “heavy”, is chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO.

Indian Special forces use these assault rifles especially the Special Protection Group (SPG). Currently these guns are being used in the Russia-Ukraine War.



The IWI X95 (formerly known as the Micro-Tavor, MTAR or MTAR-21) is an Israeli bullpup assault rifle designed and produced by Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) as part of the Tavor rifle family, along with the TAR-21 and the Tavor 7. IWI US offers the rifle in semi-automatic only configuration as the ‘Tavor X95’.

These rifles have been in service since 2011 and CRPF ordered an amount of 12,000 X95 rifles . Now, the modified version Tavor X95 has been inducted and more rifles have been ordered.

IWI Tavor TAR-21


The IWI Tavor TAR-21 is an Israeli bullpup assault rifle chambered in 5.56×45mm NATO calibre with a selective fire system, selecting between semi-automatic mode and full automatic fire mode. The Tavor is designed and produced by Israel Weapon Industries (IWI). It is produced in two main variants: the TAR-21 and the CTAR-21.

These assault rifles played a crucial role in the Surgical strike conducted in PoK. It also fought against the insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir.

M4 Carbine


The M4 carbine is a 5.56×45mm NATO, gas-operated, magazine-fed, carbine developed in the United States during the 1980s. It is a shortened version of the M16A2 assault rifle. The M4 has been adopted by over 60 countries worldwide, and has been described as “one of the defining firearms of the 21st century”.

It is also known as M4A1 as a part of a 2008 Foreign military sale. Mizoram Armed Police, PARA SF and Force One of Mumbai Police use these assault rifles.

T91 Assault Rifles


The T91 is a gas-operated, magazine-fed, assault rifle produced by the 205th Armoury of National Defence in the Republic of China. It is based on the proven T86 assault rifle, incorporating features from the M16 and AR-18 with more modern features.

It is used by Special Forces of the Indian Army and Garud of the Indian air force. The rifle has a firing speed of about 800 rounds per minute. Around 400 rifles were bought.



The AR-M1, also known as AK-47M1, is a Bulgarian assault rifle designed primarily for export. It is a modernised Bulgarian derivative of the AKK, which itself is based on the Soviet AK-47. The AR-M1 can be chambered for both the 5.56×45mm NATO and 7.62×39mm cartridges.

The Para SF, Ghatak Commandos, CAPF Commando Units and more use AR-M1 assault rifles. 

AKM Assault Rifles


The AKM is an assault rifle designed by Soviet small arms designer Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1959. It is the most ubiquitous rifle of the Kalashnikov rifles. It was developed as a replacement to the AK-47 introduced a decade prior. 

This Assault rifle is used in Indian Armed Forces, which has a basic design as that of AK-47 rifles. AKM is a modernised form of the famous AK-47. It has been modified locally by FAB Defence and SSS Defence India. Rifle Factory Ishapore is developing and manufacturing AKM in India.



The AK-47, officially known as the Avtomat Kalashnikova also known as the Kalashnikov or just AK, is a gas-operated assault rifle that is chambered for the 7.62×39mm cartridge. Developed in the Soviet Union by Russian small-arms designer Mikhail Kalashnikov.

This weapon showed its strength in the India China clashes, Kashmir Insurgency and Kargil War. 

Bengaluru-based Indian firearms company SSS Defence has supplied the first batch of its upgraded AK-47 kits to the Indian Army.

Vz. 58 Assault Rifles


The vz. 58 (or Sa vz. 58) is a 7.62×39mm assault rifle designed and manufactured in Czechoslovakia and accepted into service in the late 1950s as the 7,62 mm samopal vzor 58 , replacing the vz. 52 self-loading rifle and the 7.62×25mm Tokarev Sa 24 and Sa 26 submachine guns.

It was the standard issue of Para SF Commandos before the advent of Tavors and is currently used by Airborne Forces and Rashtriya Rifles.

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