ASMI Production by Kalyani or SSS Defense? – An Alpha Defense Exclusive
-Subodh Sharma and Aman Routray
Asmi – A 9×19 mm Sub-Machine Gun is developed by the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and Lt Col Prasad Bansod is all set to go into limited series production. ARDE was looking for Private Partners to manufacture a limited number of guns so they can be used in testing. The current order will be of 25 guns and these guns will be sent for “User Trials”.
Vendors for Asmi
The shortlisted vendors are
- Kalyani Strategic System Limited
- Lokesh Machines Limited
- Meistery Motors and Arms Company
- SSS Defense
- Zen Technologies limited
This appears to be a direct battle between Kalyani and SSS defense. Though other vendors can certainly pull a surprise.
The Indian Army operates a wide variety of Sub Machine guns. The guns capable of firing 9X19 mm Parabellum are often considered as a secondary arm. If you look at the arsenal of the Indian army today they operate five different types of sub-machine guns firing the same caliber.
- SAF Carbine 2A1 (Sterling)
- HK MP5
- Micro Uzi
- B&T MP9
The majority of these are world war era SAF Carbine 2A1, and other units are comparatively smaller in number. These imported weapons are costlier as well. However, things are set to change with the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” drive and “Asmi”. Designed by Lt Colonel Prasad Bansod “Asmi” is now a working prototype.
The Pune-based facility of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Army’s Mhow-based Infantry School have jointly developed India’s first indigenous 9mm machine pistol. This submachine gun is likely to have a production cost lower than Rs 50,000 each and has export potential as well. Machine pistols are primarily self-loading versions of pistols which are either fully automatic or can also fire bursts of bullets.
State of the Art System :
Like most modern small arms “Asmi” machine pistol has an upper receiver made from aircraft-grade aluminium and a lower receiver from carbon fibre. Very few units of this gun were made during the technology demonstrator and prototyping stage. Hence 3D printing technology was used in designing and fabrication of various parts, including trigger components.
DRDO’s Pune-based facility Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and the Infantry School designed and developed this weapon utilizing their respective areas of expertise in a record time of four months.
Earlier a press statement from the Ministry of Defense read,
“The weapon has huge potential in armed forces as a personal weapon for heavy weapon detachments, commanders, tank and aircraft crews, drivers and dispatch riders, radio or radar operators, for closed quarter battles, counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations, etc. This is also likely to find huge employability with the central and state police organizations, as well as VIP protection duties and policing. The Machine Pistol is likely to have a production cost of under Rs 50,000 each and has potential for exports. The weapon is aptly named Asmi, which means pride, self-respect, and also hard work.”–MoD Press Statement
Challenges Ahead for Asmi:
“Asmi” is without any doubt a big effort, the gun looks promising and has all the features a modern submachine gun (Machine Pistol) needs. However, the real tests start now.
- The system now will have to undergo the extreme testing procedures of the Indian army.
- Once the gun is through the trials, a production agency will have to be identified. The process has now started now, and shortlisted companies may be soon invited for commercial bids.
- Currently, the system is made through 3D-printing and thus the components are very accurate. Once the gun hits production “Quality control” will be the key. Though its much easier to get the quality process streamlined in a private sector company than ordinance factory board.
Spoilt by choices
Not in the segment of “Submachine Gun” (Machine Pistol) but in all other segments, today the problem of the Indian army is “problem of plenty”. This abundance syndrome is now complicating things for the Indian army. We have already discussed Carbine in great details here & Assault rifles here
Overall, it’s a good progress in this segment. Let’s see how things shape up in the coming days.
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