Vol.7     No.5      October1999                                                                 ISSN:0971-4413
Bulletin of Defence Research & Development Organisation



The new generation of 5.56 mm family of Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) developed with state-of-the-art technologies is lighter, more compact and impart less recoil load on the soldier while fully meeting operational requirements of range and lethality. The specially designed 5.56 mm cartridge provides a cutting edge over the contemporary 5.56 NATO round. The common ammunition fired from all the three members of the family, viz., rifle, LMG and carbine with adequate lethality at 800 m—the effective range of LMG, is the hall mark of the 5.56 m INSAS.

With the productionisation of INSAS by Ordnance Factories, a major milestone has been achieved and India has joined the select club of a few industrialised nations possessing the capability to design, develop and productionise a complete family of small arms, ab initio.

The 5.56 mm INSAS family consists of the common 5.56 x 45 cartridge and the following weapons :

m Assault rifle in fixed and foldable butt versions

m LMG in fixed and foldable butt version

m Carbine in foldable butt

Besides above, a paraversion Rifle has also been developed exclusively for use by the paratroopers. All weapons of INSAS family are quite ‘soldier friendly’.


Salient Features

  • Common ammunition for all the weapons of the family

  • Same basic group components providing very high percentage of commonality/interchange-ability of components

  • Simplified and reduced training, maintenance & logistics

  • Lesser recoil force making the firing comfortable and improving overall performance

  • Effective use during day and night operations due to provision of optical sight and passive night sight

  • Extensive use of engineering plastics and FRP composites eliminating the use of precious, scarce high grade wood

  • Chrome plated barrel & chamber for smooth functioning, almost doubling the barrel life and ease of maintenance

  • Cold swaging technology for mass production of barrels.

Over 200 thousand rifles and LMGs have already been produced and are presently in service. The carbine is going through the final stages of user trials.

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