India’s First Private Sector Small Arms Manufacturing Plant Inaugurated
India’s first private sector small arms manufacturing plant has been inaugurated in Madhya Pradesh to supply world class weapons to the armed forces in line with the India’s defence indigenisation programme.
The plant is a joint venture between India’s Punj Lloyd and Israel Weapon Systems. The plant will manufacture four products, namely, X95 carbine and assault rifle, Galil sniper rifle, Tavor assault rifle and Negev Light Machine Gun (LMG).
The joint venture company named as Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems will help in replacing the weapons used by the armed forces with sophisticated and high precision products.
The plant has been commissioned ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Israel during which many more defence pacts are expected to be signed.
India is the largest buyer of Israel’s military hardware. Over the last few years, India has bought various weapon systems, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles from Israel. Israel currently is the fourth-largest arms supplier to India after the US, Russia and France. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s impending visit to Israel in July 2017 is expected to tighten the bilateral strategic partnership between both countries.
India had formally recognised Israel in September 1950. Embassies were opened in 1992 after full diplomatic relations were established. Since the upgradation of relations in 1992, defence and agriculture have been the main pillars of bilateral engagement. However, in recent years, bilateral ties have expanded to areas such as education, science and technology and homeland security.