In my pervious two posts good indigenous rifle still a dream for indian army & army 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.