The Tiruchi Assault Rifle (TAR), developed indigenously by the Ordnance Factory, Tiruchi, has been delivered to the Border Security Force for the first time.
Director General of Ordnance Factory Board Saurabh Kumar handed over a rifle to the Additional Director General of BSF Nasir Kamal in the presence of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during the launch of projects under Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor here on Sunday.
While welcoming the decision of Border Security Force to utilise Tiruchi Assault Rifle, employees’ unions said they expect the Defence Ministry to prevail upon the Army to place orders for the weapon.
The TAR that had undergone a series of tests and had been supplied earlier to police departments of States has been approved for use by a paramilitary force for the first time. The 7.62 x 39 mm weapon is stated to be best suited for paramilitary forces deployed for quelling insurgency.
By firing in automatic mode in short series, group or single shot, targets at a distance up to 500 metres could be destroyed. It was most effective up to a distance of 300 metres. In automatic mode, it fires 600 rounds per minute. The design is compatible for attachment with a 40mm under barrel Grenade Launcher UBGL and 40×46 mm under barrel Grenade Launcher UBGL-M6, officials of OFT said while explaining the features of the weapon to the visitors on Sunday.
According to the officials of OFT, the TAR has been designed to incapacitate and kill the enemy in counter-insurgency operations. It is on par with AK-47 rifles in performance and reliability. The rifle manufactured in three variants: fixed butt, side foldable butt and under folding uses ammunition made by Ordnance Factory, Varangoan, Bhushawal.
The order placed by the BSF is a positive development, but the quantum of weapons procured by the Home Ministry will be much lesser when compared to the Army that would require the weapon in terms of lakhs.
Use of the weapon by the Army was key for sustaining the production on a long-term basis, C. Srikumar, General Secretary, All India Defence Employees’ Federation, said. Opposing the entry of private sector in defence production, he called for strengthening of the ordnance factories and other Central public sector undertakings.
Seeking to allay apprehensions of the employees’ unions of the public sector undertakings about entry of private sector into manufacture of defence equipment, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman said during the function that that new orders will continue to be placed with the ordnance factories and employees will not be retrenched for want of orders.