“Caracal has already identified the required land, facility and local partners to be able to commence production immediately. Over 20 per cent of the components fitted on the CAR 816 are already made in India, with Caracal now making commitment to fully manufacture the rifles in (the) country, in alignment with the ‘Make in India’ initiative,” the company said in a statement.
The statement comes in the midst of indication that the defence ministry was considering scrapping the deal to initiate a fresh procurement process for the carbines.
In its statement, Caracal also hinted that it was ready to ensure transfer of technology while manufacturing the carbines in India.
“The company already surpassed global competitors in terms of performance and technicalities to win the bid two years ago, and now confirms its readiness to service the fast track order from India within 12 months,” it said.
Hamad Al Ameri, CEO of Caracal, said the company was awarded the close-quarter carbine contract in 2018 after undergoing a “rigorous selection process”.
“Having agreed to fast track the supply, and with the formalities still under discussion, we would like to reiterate our commitment to our bid and to the ‘Make in India’ initiative,” he said.
“With strong bilateral ties between our two nations, and with India being a key market for Caracal, we remain on standby to supply the product to the customer upon instruction,” Ameri said.
In October, 2017, the Army began the process to acquire around seven lakh rifles, 44,000 light machine guns (LMGs) and an unspecified number of carbines.
Indian Army, the world’s second largest standing Army, has been pushing for fast-tracking the procurement of various weapons systems considering the evolving security challenges along the country’s borders with Pakistan and China.