Australia Wants To Sell India Its Next CQB Rifle — Here’s What They’re Offering
- Since 1989, the Australian Army has used a domestically produced version of Steyr Arms’ Armee-Universal-Gewehr (Universal Army Rifle, or AUG), officially known as the F88 Austeyr, as its standard-issue service weapon.
- A joint partnership between Thales Australia and the Kalyani Group now plans on offering the Indian military an export version of the F88 for the country’s new carbine requirement.
- India is currently in the midst of a massive rearmament program that will see its army phase out older weaponry in favor of a combination of newer westernized hardware, popular with NATO member states, as well as Indian-designed and produced guns and kit.
- Gear Scout earlier reported that India would be buying 72,400 SIG716 battle rifles and an unknown number of Caracal CAR816 carbines as part of a $503 million contract. Later on, The Firearms Blog reported that the expected tally of CAR816s was just around 95,000.
- The F88 export variant, dubbed the F90, was originally offered as a competitor to the CAR816, but will now be entered into a separated competition geared towards supplying the Indian Army with a new closer quarters battle (CQB) carbine.
- According to the solicitation posted by the Indian Ministry of Defence, the CQB carbine needs to be chambered in 5.56×45 mm NATO, must possess a minimum effective range of 200 meters (218 yards), and has a 5 Minute Of Angle accuracy or better, out of the box.
- Thales Australia and the Kalyani Group hope that the F90 will be exactly what the Indian military is looking for. Built under license from Steyr by Lithgow Arms, the F90 is designed to be highly modular and can field a 40 mm SL40 under-barrel grenade launcher as well as a slew of other accessories and optics on its Picatinny rails.
Source- Military Times