MCIWS - Multi Caliber Individual Weapon System THE FUTURE COMBAT RIFLE OF INDIAN ARMY


In my pervious two posts good indigenous rifle still a dream for indian armyarmy dumps excalibur rifle says needs more lethal gun  I discussed why India still has not provided a good indigenous gun to Indian army. I pointed the problems and how the army is in love with imported weapons and some high rank corrupt officials do not want to use indigenous guns and sabotage & delay those projects so that they can make money out of weapon deals. In this post I am going to write about a gun which is called MCIWS which has the potential tobe the standard issue rifle of the Indian Army.

Multi Caliber Individual Weapon System (MCIWS) is a new assault rifle developed by ARDE Pune which is a wing of DRDO.
This gun was unveiled by DRDO at Defence Expo in 2014. As the name tells this is not just a rifle but a multicaliber weapon system which means that is capable of firing a variety of rounds. MCIWS
assault rifle is configured to fire in 5.56 NATO, 7.62×39 and in 6.8 Remington SPC rounds. The soldier operating the gun will be able to configure the gun according to the type of ammunition he would require depending on the type of mission or the ammunition available. This is a very modern concept in the field of rifles as not many rifles produced have the ability to fire multiple types of rounds and also the ones which have are not easy to configure as they require changing the entire firing system depending on the caliber, but in MCIWS soldier can does not require to change the entire mechanism for firing different type of round. The soldier just requires to change the rifle barrels.

 The MCIWS uses a gas operated short stroke piston design.The gun is made up of high grade aluminum alloy and is of superior finish. The modular design of MCIWS helps the soldier to strip and assemble the gun much more easily by removing a pin.The MCIWS would include an indigenous under barrel grenade launcher to fire airburst-type grenades which can take out targets up to 500 meters.
 The sightmounting rails are provided in the gun which enable various sights to be mounted on the weapon.

Also the rifle would use a 30 round plastic magazine like in INSAS AND EXCALIBUR which allows the soldier to see through the magzine which makes it easier to know how many bullets are in magazine.

MCIWS cleared all trials done by manufacturer and  is undergoing army trials and according to official reports MCIWS has cleared winter trials  which were done during early 2016.It is expected that all trials will be done by 2017 and its production can start soon. Till then it is expected that army will use Excalibur which although they have dumped saying is not lethal for counter terror operations but is still better than INSAS. As there are several thousand older INSAS guns which need to be repaired and replaced, Excalibur can well serve as a much better replacement than those older insas. 

What is needed is to fast track the testing and procurement of weapon systems like MCIWS because every day we waste we risk lives of our brave soldiers.


  1. Hitesh bhai, any idea on the current status of MCIWS?

    1. Yes buddy, MCIWS is currently under trials.
      Although army has issued an RFI for assault rifle even after Excalibur passed all tests by changing requirements,army now says it needs a 7.62mm rifle instead of a 5.56mm (same old change requirements when u can't buy foreign stuff drama).
      We know that Excalibur version AR2 ( 7.62 mm) is under development too.
      So I guess we will se Excalibur 5.56 mm in service soon as a stop gap measure.
      Then when trials will be held we will se Excalibur and mciws and all in selection trials too.

      MCIWS in my opinion is the future Indian standard issue assault rifle.

    2. Thanks buddy!

    3. Anytime buddy....Stay updated many posts coming this week

    4. Ohh...But its production not start yet....BTW thanx for the infor bro..

    5. Yes buddy the production can only be done after successful trials so no Production for now

  2. Love u hitesh bhai😊👍
    Keep updating us on our indeginous efforts in various military platforms and weapon systems developments...
    Bhai please update me on the progress made in development of bharat powerpack 2000hp Tank engine national project for FMBT....

    And do u follow @Sjha1618 bhai on twitter??..
    Another true "civillian" soldier who passionately tells us about various indeginous weapons development with very deep and very credible insights....
    He is a gem actually😊...

    1. Sure buddy ,ty for ur appreciation..... And I will surely try to do one about Bharat power-pack in near future 😊

  3. This is the best caliber you can get for an assault riffle :
    It's absolutely compatible with any 5.56 platform. The only drawback is you have to consider the use of extended STANAG magazines as diameter of brasses is pretty serious.
    Thus, I'd really advise to go bullpup for a good reason : with a 64-65cm barrel, you just do shooting competition at 1km+ with such rounds.
    In other terms, a bullpup will stay pretty compact (90-92cm) while just having a sniper ability. Trajectory and accuracy are better than .308 with longer range, recoil is near 7.62x39 so you keep control during bursts, bullets are even faster than 5.56 so if energy is less than .308, it also maintains better during the flight, ending more powerful than .308 when range of target augments.
    If such caliber is adopted, a bullpup assault riffle allows to get rid of any .308 sniper or machine-gun and of 5.56 LMGs too.
    Note : better avoid lighter bullets than 80gr (5g) : a 58g is a Mach4 thing, if you want low life barrels, it's perfect. Also go for barrels that are chromed inside. the 80gr flies @ 1081m/s, the 90gr @1000m/s with a 24" barrel. If some think 5.56 isn't enough letal, this 6.17mm is enough to hunt deers ;)

    1. Yes 5.56 is pretty capable and I would say more that capable but the thing is this one is a very ambitious multicaliber project and in this getting BULLPUP config is an issue because u have to change barrel assembly to switch btw Cal's. In BULLPUP that will take time but army wants the capability to make changes in minutes so MCIWS won't go BULLPUP.

      As for BULLPUP there is an interesting fact which not many know, when insas was under trials there was a BULLPUP variant which was made for INSAS and in my opinion that was futuristic for that time as only India in Asia would have been the nation to adopt BULLPUP config but as army does IT WAS NOT SELECTED FOR UNKNOWN REASONS.

      ALSO I AGREE THAT ITS AMMUNITION wHICH IS AN issue and not the guns.

    2. "Yes 5.56 is pretty capable and I would say more that capable"
      => If you're in the open, not so, it's like that we lost 10 Legionnaires in a Taleb ambush : they were outgunned by Dragunovs then... The kinda weapon is OK as .243WSSM was created to hunt wapitis (+300k) with an AR-15 at 400m and coyote at 1km. 5.56 is a 300m coyote caliber and has less recoil than .308.
      In other terms, not even need a multi-caliber weapon, you outgun both NATO calibers and the 3 typical Russian ones then the Chinese too while the recoil is not worst than AK-47. The interest is you have an unified caliber that, if the 64-65cm barrel is fit, does sniper job, AR job and light/mid machine gun too, all this in a single riffle.
      You may carry less ammo than 5.56 but more than .308 and you add serious range in the open while, in case of bullpup, you stay very compact
      The bullpup may need more practise to change magz fast but it's a question of habit.
      Thus, my personnal choice in case of patrol, Afghan-style would be smth like the Vigilance Riffles VR-1 in .408 CheyTac, LOL, and I'd consider to scrap pistols as side arms.
      Something like the ST-Kinetics CPW would have my choice if prepared for .25 Garin (6.35mm, 1300-1350J, parent case : old .300carbine) and 50 rounds magz. I'd consider another wildcat caliber to create from the .30carbine, thus, would it work? Tests would be needed : using a .300winch-mag 220-250gr bullet with 320m/s velocity. It's to use with silencers : it'd be as powerful as a .357magnum while the .25garin is a bit more powerful than 5.45x39 and more stopping power (energy on par with .44magnum). With a polygonal riffling, you can expect accuracy at 250-300m with the .25garin and 150-200m with the 'heavy' .30... In other terms, you carry a compact assault riffle the size/weight of a big pistol. Perfect PDW for those normally not in combat company : vehicles, tank crews, medics, pilots, even SOFs, SWATs or street police as a small carbine is always better than any handgun, VIP protection, etc etc.

      Well, I can't tell what these guns worth without giving a try but the ammos ALL military riffles use don not take in account evolutions in ballistics. In fact, there were already attempts to have an unified caliber adopted in the 50's, mostly by belgians/brits but US imposed .308NATO. West could have an AR as soon as 1946-47 by simply adopting the .22APG in US-M2carbines. Just befoe the fall of USSR, Soviets were also near to adopt an unified caliber...
      It's really a military industrial complex (MIC) shit to have it rejected since forever : more types of weapons=> less numbers => higher prices, moreover it'd be lighter ones : the microgun replaces the minigun, simplified logistics=> less money there, bullets would end cheaper too, etc.

      "as only India in Asia would have been the nation to adopt BULLPUP config"
      => China has adopted. Now we're going backard here : as MAS who built FAMAS has folded, we go H&K416 :( It's stupid as IWI X95 could have been license-built in France. Maybe fear to unplease our Arab population?

    3. Mate the suggestion is great but sadly INDIAN OFB suck at ammunition production, they have been known for producing bad quality ammunition.

      I hate to admit it that ofb is dud when it comes to quality ammunition and that's why our govt has now allowed private firms to develop and produce ammunition to meet the demand of our armed forces and the quality required.

      Also I hate the fact that army can't fix the requirement of what they want, they earlier wanted 5.56 only and now they say maybe they need a 7.62x51 ( who uses that in assault rifle? Except Pakistan)

    4. Sorry your OFB can't make quality but actually, such things are not due to being public vs. private sector! It's about having efficient tooling and efficient management.

      "Also I hate the fact that army can't fix the requirement of what they want, they earlier wanted 5.56 only and now they say maybe they need a 7.62x51 ( who uses that in assault rifle? Except Pakistan)"
      >>>> No surprise! the use of .308W and .223R came from lobbying to force US military into using the 2 calibres while all ballistic experts wanted an intermediate calibre between both and this before both were introduced! Brits and Belgians were absolutely opposed to adopt .308 as a standard NATO calibre but US forced them to give up, then noticed that it totally sucked for close quarter and jungle use but the M2carbine lacked range (while APG labs recommanded to scale calibre down to .22APG with a 5.7 riffle-style bullet and this as soon as 1947!), then lobbying helped to push up Remington's 300m coyote/varmint round, the .223R AKA 5.56NATO.
      Now the army can't fix for good reason : 5.56 alows lighter and shorter weapons and it's more powerful than SMGs while keeping recoil low so, for close quarter, urban warfare, jungle and any less than 300m job, 5.56 is OK thus lacking of stopping power. Now, find yourself in the open, Afghanistan style, you're more likely to be ambushed, mountain style, by Dragunovs. It's exactly like this we lost 10 Légionnaires there... Well, also Italians' fault too! These idiots bribed the Talebs to not fuck with them. French Legion took over the job, Itlian told 'em "no, no! It's quiet here!". Actually, area was infested with Talebs! Having been told area was quiet, They did a patrol with only FAMAS and 100 rounds each and were totally outgunned by Talebs' Dragunovs. Since this event, .308 seriously came back in most of western armies, although in lesser numbers. With Taleb activityin Waziristan, no surprise that due to the very open terrain, they keep .308. Iranians do so too. Thus, if you end having to cleanse bunkers, buildings, etc, better not fall on bearded roaches with AK-74U or even SMGs like MP5, Uzi, etc, actually, they may even have advantage in short range urban warfare : .308 will allow to carry much less ammos, you need heavier rifles with smaller rounds in mags. Now, with modern rifles, you end with modular ones or proposed in light/heavy versions exactly like MCIWS:

    5. Nevertheless, .223R/5.56NATO was created in 1962, .308W was designed in 1952.
      There were serious advances in ballistics since.
      .243WSSM was designed in 2004 and has the advantages of allowing light carbines as it was designed to allow serious hunting with AR-15 (civilian M16/M4) with soft recoil (no more than AK-47) while having power on par with .308, not really at the muzzle (3000J instead of 3600J from a 65cm barrel) but with smaller caliber and better aerodynamics, lighter bullets, energy will be better conserved during flight. Note that .243WSSM is very close in its concept from 6mm Norma BR, a benchrest ammo especially created for high precision benchrest shooting with VLD (very low drag) bullets.
      This round is very recent : introduced only in 2004. .243=6.17mm. If you know about shooting competitions, nearly all calibres used for 1km shooting are in 6 to 6.35mm range.
      .243WSSM is a wildcat made from the most popular hunting calibre, .300Winchester Magnum that has been shortened.
      Kinda magazines needed for .243WSSM :

      #### Seriously, I'd be more than pleased to advise Indian MoD, I could really help them to spare billions (or if not, get much better efficiency for their money. And I'm not even greedy compared to the money they could spare which'd surely be better spent into healthcare, education, infrastructures...)

  4. It seems better than m4 carbine

    1. Yes it should be better than M4 but hope it clears all trials and that Is sticks with it later

  5. Bhai..
    Any further news about MCIWS??

    1. It underwent cold trials, have been bought in small number for extensive testing but the further information will not be published till the tests are done.

      Also army has changed the requirement yet again, read
      Army's RFI for 7.62x51 mm Standard Issue Rifle - MY OPINION

  6. Thanks bhai for the info ! But I have some doubts .Why is there an opening near the gas piston ? Won't dirt get in there ? And why is the barrel made unnecessarily long ? Shouldn't they increase the length of the hand grip and slightly remodel it ( aesthetically speaking ) ? In all the photos where a person handles the weapon they all hold it in a very uncomfortable way . And my last question is , how else would you remodel the assault rifle ? .Thanks in advance bro ! Jai Hind .

  7. Actually brother the gun has changed quite some bit since last pics in terms of aesthetics and further changes have been suggested which will solve some things u have pointed, also it has an adjustable buttstock whose length can be altered so holding position can be made comfortable by the user as per his wish.

    Also a way in which we can remodel an assault rifle is develop a BULLPUP system of it which will make it shorter but I don't think a multi-colored BULLPUP is possible, and that's one reason why the barrel looks longer.
    Another post on MCIWS coming up
    Jai Hind 🇮🇳

    1. What i have seen in past few days reported by many defence pages on fb..
      Is that the buttstock of this AAR/MCIWS has been changed quite a bit...
      Those pages also posted some pics of recent prototype...which they took from the recently held pune Indian Science and tech fair...
      What disappointed me was that the earlier butt was much funkier and gave a very advanced look to the rifle..
      And it also was of superior quality, material and finish...

      The recent pics showed significantly downgraded butt in terms of aesthetics,built quality and quality of material...
      Can u tell something about it???

    2. Yes they r changing some aesthetic. Idk why army again asked for downgrade. I would say send me links of thaose new images.

    Here is that FB post of Indra Networks...

    And hitesh..
    Do you have a FB page or profile also??


    1. The scar type buttstock sucks, I have seen these myself. I too didn't like it. Earlier it had extendable and foldable buttstock which looked great.

  10. Ty mate.eill post update soon too. Do follow or subscribe if u like

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