The ferocious assault rifle Ugram is of 7.62x51 mm calibre, making it even more lethal than its 5.62 mm calibre contemporaries, including the INSAS rifle, currently used by police and security forces in India

New Delhi: In another milestone for the Make in India initiative, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) launched Ugram, an ingeniously developed state-of-the-art assault rifle of 7.62×51 mm calibre. The assault rifle is set to boost the capabilities of the armed forces, police and paramilitary forces for whom it will be commissioned.

Boasting a range of 500 meters and weighing less than 4 kg, Ugram is the first prototype of the rifle. It was unveiled by DRDO official Shailendra V Gade on Monday in Pune. It has been developed by the DRDO’s Pune-based Armament Research and Development Establishments (ARDE) in partnership with a Hyderabad-based private entity, according to Indian Express.

Features of Ugram Assault Rifle

1. Crafted with a potent design, the ‘Ugram’ rifle outmatches its counterparts wielding 5.62mm calibre rounds, such as the widely used INSAS rifle in India’s armed and paramilitary forces.

2. The rifle has been developed in line with the Indian Army’s General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQRs).

3. It features a 20-round magazine and the ability to fire in both single and full-auto modes, the Ugram rifle resembles the latest AK and AR-type rifles but distinguishes itself with a rivet-free design, enhancing its durability.

4. Its launch coincides with the recent approval for the procurement of 70,000 US-made SIG Sauer assault rifles of similar calibre for the Indian armed forces, adding to the 72,000 acquired in 2020 at a cost of ₹800 crore.

5. Before being officially inducted, Ugram will undergo a series of rigorous tests, including internal assessments, acceptance trials, and user evaluations.

6. Ankathi Raju, Director of ARDE, highlighted the project’s timeline, mentioning that it began as a mission-oriented endeavour two years ago.

7. Collaborating with a private industry partner, DcPP (Development cum Production Partner), expedited the project’s progress. The Hyderabad-based Dvipa Armour has received the order for manufacturing the assault rifle, which is slated to undergo trials soon.

8. In its trial phase, the rifle will be repeatedly tested in its firing capabilities for accuracy and consistency across diverse environmental conditions, from high altitudes to desert landscapes. Any issues faced during this period will require prompt resolution before retesting.

9. A total of 5 prototypes of Ugram were developed within three months of placing of order in October 2023. Following the trial phase, 15 more units of the rifle will be handed over to the DRDO for further testing.