Excalibur rifle

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Excalibur rifle
Amogh & Excalibur.jpg
Amogh carbine and Excalibur rifle (bottom)
TypeAssault rifle
Place of originIndia
Service history
In service2017
Production history
DesignerArmament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE)
ManufacturerOrdnance Factories Board (OFB)
No. built20000+[1]
Mass3.81 kg (without magazine)
4.03 kg (with full magazine)[2]
Length895 mm (35.2 in)[2]
Barrel length400 mm (16 in)[2]

Cartridge5.56×45mm NATO
ActionGas-operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire650-700 rounds/min[2]
Muzzle velocity900 m/s (2,953 ft/s)
Effective firing range450m[3]
Feed system20/30-round detachable box magazine[2]
SightsIn-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.[4] 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).[5][6] 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).[7] Similar tenders for a carbine and a LMG were also issued.[8] However, the Army sent a letter to the manufacturers on 15 June 2015, to notify them that the tender had been retracted.[9]

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.

On 3 July 2016, the Indian media reported that the Indian Army had rejected the Excalibur for its standard issue assault rifle as it did not match the requirements standard of the army.[10][11]

In September 2016 the Indian Army announced that it was launching a tender for 185,000 7.62×51mm-caliber assault rifles.[4] The Indian Army in October 2016 announced that Excalibur rifles will be adopted as an interim assault rifle until a suitable replacement is found.[12][13]


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[edit]

  • 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


See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=169881
  2. ^ a b c d e "RIFLE EXCALIBUR 5.56 MM". ofbindia.gov.in/. OFB INDIA. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  3. ^ Press India Bureau. "Excalibur Rifle 5.56mm". pib.nic.in. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  4. ^ a b The Times of India (28 September 2016). "Once again, Army starts global hunt for a new-generation assault rifle". timesofindia.com. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Army issues global tender for new assault rifles". Zee News. 30 November 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Five cos left in race to supply multi-calibre rifles to Army". Business Standard. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Guns and Butter in Billion-dollar Arms Deal". 21 September 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  8. ^ "INSAS-weary army shops for new infantry arms". The New Indian Express. 16 December 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Army scraps the world's largest assault rifle tender". India Today. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Army hunts for lethal assault rifle, junks DRDO's Excalibur". Economic Times. 3 July 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Indian army throw plan to induct desi rifle". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  12. ^ http://dmilt.com/asia/india-army-agrees-to-adopt-excalibur-rifles-as-interim-solution
  13. ^ http://www.janes.com/article/65209/ia-to-induct-excalibur-as-interim-assault-rifle
  14. ^ The Times of India (6 August 2016). "Excalibur muscle for Bengal police". timesofindia.com. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  15. ^ NYOOOZ (6 August 2016). "Excalibur muscle for Bengal police". nyoooz.com. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  16. ^ https://www.news18.com/news/india/karnataka-police-face-huge-weapon-shortage-says-cag-report-1814823.html