Friday, October 2, 2009

Army Special Forces scout for new pistol

After reequipping its Special Forces units and parachute battalions with the new generation Israeli automatic assault rifles, the Indian army is now looking for contemporary semiautomatic pistols to replace their antiquated 9 mm handguns. It wants a robust weapon that is lightweight and is easy to carry and operate, and has asked arms vendors for details on the latest pistols for its Special Forces units.

Since the new weapons are to be used by commandos, additional features being sought are the option of fixing on a laser ranger and aiming device and a high intensity flashlight for operations in the dark or dimly lit areas. Flashlights, besides illuminating the area ahead of the shooter, also serve the dual purpose of blinding the opponent.

Though the Special Forces units have access to a wide variety of weapons, the standard issue handgun is the 9 mm pistol produced by the Ordnance Factories.

The Swiss SIG-Sauer, Austrian Glock, German Walther and Italian Beretta are among the firms known for contemporary pistol designs that are favoured by major special forces units around the world.

Over the past two years the Special Forces have adapted the Israeli Tavor 21 as its standard assault rifle. The army had procured about 3,000 such rifles to replace the earlier mix of AK-47, M-16s and INSAS rifles.


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