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Amogh carbine and Excalibur rifle (bottom)
|Place of origin||India|
|Designer||Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE)|
|Manufacturer||Ordnance Factories Board (OFB)|
|Mass||3.81 kg (without magazine)|
4.03 kg (with full magazine)
|Length||895 mm (35.2 in)|
|Barrel length||400 mm (16 in)|
|Action||Gas-operated, rotating bolt|
|Rate of fire||650-700 rounds/min|
|Muzzle velocity||900 m/s (2,953 ft/s)|
|Effective firing range||450m|
|Feed system||20/30-round detachable box magazine|
|Sights||In-built iron sights, Picatinny rails for mounting telescopic or night sights|
Excalibur is an assault rifle that is derived from the INSAS rifle, which is the standard rifle of the Indian Army. The rifle has many improvements over the INSAS rifle and was slated to replace the INSAS as the Indian Army's standard assault rifle; however, the Indian Army put the replacement out to tender in September 2016. The Excalibur will be manufactured by the Ordnance Factories Board in Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli, Small Arms Factory, Kanpur and Ichapore Arsenal.
The Indian Army used the INSAS rifle from the late 1990s, and the rifle saw action during the Kargil War. The INSAS was said to be plagued with many reliability issues like cracking of the polymer magazines because of cold weather, oil being sprayed in the user's eyes and the rifle going into automatic mode when set on 3-round burst (the INSAS doesn't have an automatic mode).
In November 2011, the Indian Army sent a request for proposal (RFP) to 34 vendors for 65,678 multi-calibre rifles for about ₹2,500 crore (US$400 million). The tender also included a license to manufacture about 100,000 more rifles in India, with a total expenditure of the phasing out estimated at ₹5,500 crore (US$900 million). Similar tenders for a carbine and a LMG were also issued. However, the Army sent a letter to the manufacturers on 15 June 2015, to notify them that the tender had been retracted.
After cancelling the tender, the army decided to pursue the new Excalibur rifle developed by the ARDE as a replacement for the older INSAS rifles.
In September 2016 the Indian Army announced that it was launching a tender for 185,000 7.62×51mm-caliber assault rifles. The Indian Army in October 2016 announced that Excalibur rifles will be adopted as an interim assault rifle until a suitable replacement is found.
The Army tested the Excalibur in 2014-15. Some of the trials included:
- Firing the rifle after submerging it in water and mud for about half an hour
- User reliability trails
- Checking the number of stoppages after firing 24,000 rounds
Differences between INSAS and Excalibur
- Having an automatic fire mode
- Having a shorter handguard
- Having a foldable butt-stock
- Having a Picatinny rail, a universal mount that allows for a range of weapon sights and other attachments like foregrip, laser designator, or flashlight
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