Excalibur to hold the fort now


  • Faced with a huge delay in acquiring world-class rifles for its soldiers, the Army is now reluctantly planning to induct the indigenously developed Excalibur, an assault rifle it had initially rejected, though in limited numbers.
  • The fully automatic rifle, which fires 5.56mm ammunition built by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), is an upgraded version of the trouble-prone INSAS (Indian National Small Arms System) inducted in the mid-1990s.
  • The force is looking to induct the Excalibur to replace the INSAS till the time a new rifle joins the force.
  • The Army has been trying to replace the INSAS and had launched an ambitious global tender for interchangeable barrels capable of firing both 5.56mm and 7.62mm calibre bullets.
  • To save time and shorten the process, the Army intended to procure large volume of the guns to carry out simultaneous trials in various locations.