INSAS Rifles prove its mattel at Alaskan Heights

Alaska: 4th Rajput Battalion, Indian Army, is participating with Indian National Small Arms System (INSAS) rifle in Exercise Yudh Abhyas 07-01, which is in progress at Donnelly Training Area, Alaska. AK-47, Dragunov SVD59 sniper rifle and MAG 58 machine gun are the other weapons used by Indian Army team.

Alaska Post reports that Indian soldiers experienced high winds, mountain views and colorful foliage as they conducted training on a range Sept. 12 as part of Exercise Yudh Abhyas.

Soldiers from Arjun Company, 4th Rajput Battalion, Indian Army, confirmed zeros with their weapons on the known-distance range.

“Our company is named Arjun,” said Maj. Akash Karwal, Arjun Co. commander, 4th Rajput, “It is named after a great warrior from mythological wartimes.”

Arjun, which was originally Arjuna, is one of the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Arjuna is a central figure in Hindu mythology whose name means “bright,” “shining,” or “silver.”

The soldiers confirmed their zeros at 100 meters with four types of weapons: the Indian National Small Arms System (INSAS) rifle, an AK-47, a Dragunov SVD59 sniper rifle and a MAG 58 machine gun.

Yudh Abyas

1st Lt. Bryan McLane, B Company, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, explains the different features of his M-4 carbine to Sepoy (Pvt.) Pradeep Singh, a member of the 4th Rajput Battalion, Indian Army. The Indian soldiers are training with members of 3-21st at Donnelly Training Area during Exercise Yudh Abhyas. Photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew MacRoberts/20th PAD

The INSAS rifle, a semi-automatic weapon capable of three-round burst, is produced in India. The 8.14-pound weapon fires 5.56-mm rounds unlike the AK-47, which fires 7.62-mm. Both weapons have the ability to shoot single shots or three-round bursts, but the AK-47 can also fire in fully automatic mode.

“Both are very accurate for hitting targets,” said Capt. Upendre Tilotia, 13th platoon commander, Arjun Co., 4th Rajput.

Tilotia said the weapons ranges in India are similar to the ones in Alaska. He said he felt his soldiers were effective marksmen and he didn’t think it would take them long to confirm their zero.

Yudh Abyas

Soldiers from the 4th Rajput Battalion, Indian Army, confirm zero on their individual weapons at Donnelly Training Area during Exercise Yudh Abhyas 07-01, where they are training with members of 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment. Photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew MacRoberts/20th PAD

Once the Indian soldiers completed the training, troops in B Company, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, went to the range and conducted the same training.

The Exercise Yudh Abhyas 07-01 involves practicing fighting insurgents in Iraq. KTuU TV reported on 21 September that many Iraqi nationals taking part in the combined international exercise of the U.S. Army Alaska and the Indian Army at the Donnelly Training Center.

The Iraqi nationals are a part of the authentic Iraqi settings meant for the training.

Lt. General John M. Brown III, the commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific, said it wasn’t long ago when the United States and India did not work together.

“Both of our nations are involved in counterinsurgency operations. Indian soldiers and U.S. Army soldiers are in combat environments against insurgents and this is exactly the kind of training that both of our military need,” Brown said.

It was just five years ago when Indian paratroopers came over to train with paratroopers at Fort Richardson.

“That was really the beginning of the re-engagement for the U.S. Army and the Indian Army together and in five years we’ve come a long way,” Brown said.

The exercises contain many common Iraqi scenario, like a road side bomb detonating.

Major Akash Karwal with the Indian Army said the real life training is invaluable to U.S. and Indian soldiers.

“The two countries get to know each others tactics, this menace of insurgency is in our country for the last sixty years. So we’ve been dealing with insurgency most of the years in our country. So coming here and doing training tactics with the American Army has been fruitful to us and hopefully fruitful to the American Army too,” Karwal said.

Sgt. Jason Lewton with the U.S. Army said they are sharing their newly gained knowledge with the Indian Army.

“I see them where our army was a little over seven years ago so we’re training them from the experiences we’ve gained and they can help us from a different perspective from their experiences,” Lewton said.

From conquering the language barriers and learning how to react in the most tense war time situations, to continuing to improve the relationship between India and the U.S. and Iraq, the lessons from this exercise benefit everyone involved.

Soldiers from U.S. Army Alaska will be heading to India in a few months for similar training in India.

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  1. rohit

    i realy love insas than girls…..simply it is in very great role that is national security

  2. Dipack Hattengdi

    INSAS Rifle is an excellent weapon system. Of course, it does not have that hi-quality look, like most Western, Russian and some Chinese small arms have. However, I’m not clear why the standard weapon does not have ‘full auto’ function in addition to the 3 round burst function. Some HFM from the finance ministry must have decided that. Another thing, why are we still continuing with the ‘Bren’ model LMG as a squad weapon system? We should have a squad weapon system which is box (200 round) magazine fed. Another accountant’s decision? Under barrel Rifle grenade launcher should also be quickly introduced. Another good idea would be to locate the INSAS factory away from the ‘politburos’ of India. just a thought.

  3. p mukherjee

    The reason for not having a fully auto mode in the INSAS is that it is not really desirable.You see, all automatic assault rifles are notoriously unstable at higher rates of fire. Even with an excellent assault rifle like the AK, it is extremely difficult to get more than three hits on a figure – 11 target (frontal human outline in a crouch) from 100 meters on auto. The first round is on the point of aim, second hits to the right and at one o’clock, the third round is high and right near the edge of the target and the rest of the burst goes out. That is why there is a lot of wastage of ammunition when the weapons fire on auto. In fact, the ideal burst is of three rounds for an assault rifle. The fully auto mode is desirable in heavier automatic weapons like the MMGs or HMGs where a belt of fire is to be laid.

  4. Dipack Hattengdi

    I agree with you on the deviation from ‘point of aim’ due to recoil stress. However, this was so for full rifle round ammunition. To overcome this and also because in most combat situations today, action takes place between 50 – 150 mtrs, the ‘intermediate rifle round’ was introduced – AK47 – where a full rifle round was considered an overkill. Till here the recoil deviation theory holds. Then came the ‘supersonic’ low bore (5.56mm, 5.45mm, 5.80mm). These are high velocity rounds and result in higher accuracy due to lower recoil stress and cause higher kinetic damage due to ‘tumbling’. However, I still am not convinced about ‘Bren’ model LMG as a squad weapon system. We should adopt a box fed, perhaps an INSAS with a heavier barrel for squad support with sustained fire capacity. Under Barrel Grenade Launchers are mandatory, in my opinion. At least 20% of the men must be issued with assult rifles with UBGL.

  5. p mukherjee

    ‘Bren’ LMG is obsolete, even though time tested and effective. It is heavy,cumbersome and lacks accuracy. There was a 5.56 mm version of the LMG as well as the sub- machinegun from INSAS on trial. The latter to replace the venerable but vintage 9 mm sten, I dont know what happened to them? Yes, UBGL is a must with an assault rifle, I am sure it must have been considered during developement of the INSAS rifle. Was it a weight or cost issue? Maybe one of the DRDO honchos can throw some light on this. Another observation, the INSAS rifle while undoubtedly the most accurate in the business besides being very light and handy, needs some attention on the metallurgy.

  6. jose maurino

    i believe that the insas rifle has some basic problems. those problems were experinced by indian soldiers in kargdil999 and also by RNA in Kalikot 2005. you have the problem of the barrel overheating and the rifle misfiring.when you have to fight for a long period of time this problem is encountered.

    any comments

  7. Varun Mishra(J.U.O)

    Insas is the very light comfartable and smart weapon.It is horiable for the enemy 7.62 insas rifle and 7.62 insas lmg is the mind blowing wepons of Indian Army.

  8. p mukherjee

    ‘Insas is the very light comfartable and smart weapon.It is horiable for the enemy 7.62 insas rifle and 7.62 insas lmg is the mind blowing wepons of Indian Army.’

    I thought the INSAS was 5.56 mm calibre.

  9. p mukherjee

    ‘i believe that the insas rifle has some basic problems. those problems were experinced by indian soldiers in kargdil999 and also by RNA in Kalikot 2005. you have the problem of the barrel overheating and the rifle misfiring.when you have to fight for a long period of time this problem is encountered.’

    Yeah that was what I meant by problems with the metalurgy. The Nepalese went for Chinese weapons after INSAS failed. It is basically a quality control issue.

  10. Viky

    Well I am not much aware about INSAS but its very important to make it better so that it can stand in front of foreign weapons. Its too bad although that the matters of forces remains on pity of some accountant and politicians.

  11. Maverick

    Speaking about sniper rifles, India posseses the Dragunov which is one among the best in the world. Its russian made and its excellence is beyond doubt.

  12. Maverick

    Yes the INSAS rifles did face quality issues during the kargil war. I think India should look at the design of an AK more carefully (the INSAS is said to be an indian version of the AK ). The AK can be carried into a sandstorm and still fire without problems. Its virtually sand proof and works in any rugged condition including high altitude. Thats what makes it one of the world’s most popular assault rifles. Though in accuracy it is inferior to the amaerican M16-A2, it makes up for it in amazing firepower. Approx 700 rounds per minute.

  13. Rajesh

    INSAS could be a better weapon system if produced and issued by quality conscious people which unfortunately is not the case.

  14. Ishaan Sarkar

    Ordinance Factories Board in India should improve upon the design of insas rifles.Basic problems may not necessarily be present in all it’s 7 or 8 variants.



  16. Harmit Gill

    The INSAS…….great rifle, embarassing service colour. Luckily there are black and green furniture versions as well!

  17. Panzer88

    I once got the chance to hold the INSAS when the army came to Bhopal(MP) in april 2006.
    Being the only weapon I ever got to handle I’m not in a state to compare it.

    However, recently I’ve read some articals on the net in which experts who have got the chance to examine the rifle state that it is a bit too complex than what it should have been.

    Also I’ve read that the workmanship on these is too shoddy to fit military standerds.

    The belt used for hanging the rifle accross ones shoulder is too short to go with the BP vest.

    The transparent magazine is also of inferior quality and often breakes when the rifle is manhandeled (common in combat situation). If thats not bad enough, if a soldier accidently breaks/cracks the mag, its deduced from his paycheque.

    There are also issues of oil leakage in the gun , the soldiers complain about the handle which is an obstruction and also has a habbit of breaking.

    In terms of design, the gun has a stark resemblance to the Israeli GLAIL. The reciever looks like the AK and the idea of mag from the G36. In short it looks like the designers have tried to reduce their work by trying to amalgamate the great, readly available weapons and make the one we know INSAS.
    Maybe the reason for its ugly look.

    In terms of accuracy it is definately better than the AK but the lack of a full-auto mode is felt by our soldiers, especially in Close Quarters Combat.

    Further our ‘GREAT’ designers have developed the INSAS lmg which even in the 21st century is magazine fed and not belt fed, taking away all advantages of the weapon. (Compare the Bren and MG42 of ww2 or download Weaponology Episode on the RAPID FIRE and/or SS for analysis)

    Also I don’t know why isn’t the army replacing the obsolete Bren LMG.

    If anyone can share his part of knowledge, It would be highly appriciated.

  18. Vikram

    1. INSAS cracking of barrel was in the initial years. It has long been rectified. Nepalese rejection of INSAS was more due to political reasons
    2. INSAS is a deadly accurate weapon. I have fired from it.
    3. Full auto mode is good for movies. Tendency of a soldier to empty his magazine at first contact with the enemy can be extremely dangerous considering guerilla warfare where time to change magazine is not available and there is limited ammunition that can be carried per person on patrol. 3 burst mode is more than sufficient ESPECAILLY for CQB
    4. Transparent magazine was an innovation- helps in – less weight hence more magazines and other equipment can be carried per soldier(remember, for a soldier on pfoot patrol every ounce matters); being transparent, the soldier knows how many rounds he still has. breaking on impact was again an old problem that was rectified long ago. that soldiers’ pay is cut for a broken equipment is pure bull sh*t
    5. the riftle was never meant to be chain round fed. there are seperate equipment for that
    6. Yes change is required. the rifle has served the country well for over a decade. the 5.56 round is ineffective to the new body aromour. UBGL has been issued to many units. in the given photos perhaps they did not need it for the specific mission and hence are absent

  19. TDCL

    Well I read most of the comments mentioned here. Now let me put me light on all these issues.

    1). A full auto mode is already developed and is in service.
    The responce till now is pretty good. Carbine version is now available.

    2). Looks doesn’t matter. however for all those who are more concerned, i request you to
    please check the latest versions at:
    You can see that INSAS versions like AMOGH, KALANTAK , EXCALIBER has a modern appealing look.

    3). This beautiful machine has fought 3 main combats. These includes ‘Kargil battle’ (India),
    ‘Operation All Clear'(Bhutan) and Anti_Maoist (Nepal).The gun was found battle worthy.

    4). Its true that there were some issues reported erlier regarding the machine.
    Now, most of these are resolved and no new are reported till now.
    Well, it takes time to achieve perfection in any field. This is a process to deliver
    the best. The critics have only mentioned that. But you sould look at the gun from its usefulness.
    Most of the para military forces are using it for various perposes, They are pretty comfortable with it.

    5). After India, Nepal and Bhutan the next country to make it as their offcial infanty weapon is Oman.

  20. Leanbo Reinder

    long live india………we need some seriously long range sniper rifles to assasinate corrupt politicians……DRDO…wrk on it

  21. suo.pratik dholakiya (ncc-gujarat)

    i love insas but . “insas” rakshak for indian army man ””””’kuki apna khun desh ke nam…..jay hind…

  22. Rounov

    INSAS developers had to install the full auto mode with a switch, which change the mode between semi-auto and full-auto mode.It also need higher capacity ammo-box. And it need some telescopic lesser devices.

  23. manoj das

    insas should be fully automatic so that our soldiers can fight the enemy more effectively

  24. John

    who design this ugly looking gun they sucks even on quality reliability they even borrow design from other country gun and still they sucks dump insas rifle and use isreali made tavor rifle indian designer still have a long way to go

  25. shrinath

    We the Indians r struggling with light machine rifles no improvement on that if improvement is their then it will take long 7 to 10 years it because lack of technology lack engineer working on it , still India don’t have the indigenous sniper(Indian made).

    our politicians r great because they are not interested to invest on developing rifles,snipers,guns they are only interested in only buying weapons so that it is easy for them to eat the money.

    By only INSAS our soldier getting difficult to fight against terror or enemy .

    I will beg politicians to do invest on weapons developing so jobs for will create for our engineers and our soldier get best rifles and i will also plead the engineers to join DRDO OFB for developing rifles for INDIA.

  26. prasun

    insas gautam ( bull pup design ) was rejected by the indian army, that may be due incapability of its ambidextrous operation. indian armed forces need a modern riflle system. moreover its design was copied from a variety of weapons including the galil & ak 47. nothing innovative! and indian forces are fighting the terorists who hardly cares about their injured buddies, so 7.62mm (ak round ) is the best ammo for our forces to tackle insurgents. ofb & drdo should think about a new accurate & power packed weapon now.

  27. karan

    plz help me im a ncc cadet in senior division ……………..i want to knoe about the .22 rifle ,slr and lmg rifle ………….i want tecnical data and also label diagram…………………………plz help me

  28. Mr.G

    Insas is nothing but built by taking design cues from AK 47 & FN FAL. Indian army adopted it because of the doctrine of ‘self reliance in defence’. Unfortunately,our media hides the notorious facts and portrays the common pros of insas resulting in general public believing false things. One cannot compare the NATO, or erstwhile WARSAW guns with insas. West has built rifles like- M14, M16,M4,Springfield 03,lee enfield,mauser 98. Russia built-AK series,Tokarev,Mosin nagant. Hence they have came a long way. And Indians? What did we build?And as far as firing mode is concerned, our so called designers could have added another optional full auto to be used in CQB.But we kept medium range engagements in mind where 3 bursts is good.

  29. C.Alexander

    Defence is a serious business to be left to the users the armed forces, who will decide which product is useful. even a single rifle malfunctioned what will happen ? so let DRDO concentrate on pickle making.

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