India is ready to approve a repeat order for 73,000 SiG Sauer 716 G2 rifles from the US, defense sources told The Print.
The development is contrary to earlier reports that the country had decided against renewing the $90 million order due to “operational glitches,” which included jamming while firing locally produced 7.62-millimeter rounds.
Sources said that India is reviewing the rifle’s overall capabilities to ensure logistics and functionality.
The weapons will be delivered to remaining frontline troops who did not receive them during the first acquisition in 2019.
The SiG 716 assault rifle was chosen among several candidates because of its high caliber and extended range.
It is also reportedly more lethal than the INSAS Rifle (5.56 x 51-millimeter) or the AK-47 (7.62 x 39-millimeter).
The SiG Sauer 716
The SiG Sauer 716 G2 (Generation 2) features a short-stroke pushrod gas system that reduces carbon fouling, excessive heat, and unburned powder during use.
With the first variants developed in 1985, the weapon can be mounted with various accessories, including optical sights, an under-barrel grenade launcher, a forehand grip, and a laser pointer.
The company explained that the rifle was developed to endure harsh tactical environments.
Last year, the Indian Army modified the weapons to suit local needs. Changes included using lower-priced ammunition, adding an additional grip, night vision lenses, and a bipod.
“The existing sight system does the trick. While it is not completely compatible with the firing system, it is much better than not having one,” a source told The Print in 2021. “With a little bit of training, the soldier is able to shoot directly even in the dark.”