American Barrett Model-95 sniper rifle

India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has decided to scrap its September 2018 request for proposal (RFP) to foreign manufacturers for 5,719 8.6 mm sniper rifles and 10.2 million rounds of ammunition for the Indian Army (IA) and the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Official sources told Jane’s on 10 July that the RFP was withdrawn in late June after bids submitted in February by four vendors had failed to meet the tender’s qualitative requirements concerning the supply of .338 Lapua Magnum ammunition rounds.

The four bidders included Indonesia’s PT Pindad, Rosoboronexport from Russia and US firms Barrett and MSA Global.

Brigadier Rahul Bhonsle (Retd), the director of Security Risks Asia – a New Delhi-based defence management consultancy – criticised the RFP, saying that it had been “badly conceived, particularly with regard to the ammunition component, leaving the MoD no choice but to withdraw it”.