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)
- IWI Tavor X95 SMG
- 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, the 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. The pistol 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 aluminum and a lower receiver from carbon fiber. As very few guns are made as a technology demonstrators and prototyping, 3D printing technology has been 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 utilising their respective areas of expertise in a record time of four months.
A press statement from the Ministry of Defence 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.”
The announcement of machine pistol development comes nearly a month after a Carbine jointly developed by the ARDE and the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) completed the final phase of user trials by the Army and was ready for induction. The Carbine is not just slated to replace the aging 9 mm carbine currently in use by the armed forces but also modernizes the armory of the Central Armed Police Forces and state police forces.
Challenges Ahead :
“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 starts 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.
- Currently, the system is 3D printed and thus the components are very accurate, once the gun hits production “Quality control” will be the key.
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 its good progress in this segment lets see how things shape up in coming days.