Pune News: DRDO launches assault rifle ‘Ugram’ for Indian Army | Pune News

Pune News: DRDO launches assault rifle ‘Ugram’ for Indian Army | Pune News



Pune: The Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and a Hyderabad-based private firm launched an indigenous assault rifle named ‘ugram’ (ferocious) on Monday.
This is the first time that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) lab has collaborated with a private industry to manufacture a 7.62 x 51 mm calibre rifle, said an official.
The weapon is designed and developed to meet the operational requirements of the Indian armed forces, paramilitary forces and state police forces, said the official.
The rifle, weighing less than four kg with a 500-meter firing range, was unveiled at the hands of Shailendra Gade, the director general of the Armament and Combat Engineering (ACE) system of the DRDO.
Scientists and private players said that it was developed based on the General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQRs) issued by the Indian Army for assault rifles in the recent past.
The scope of the project is huge in the current security scenario because of a shortfall in assault rifles in the forces. The import of AK-203 rifles has been affected owing to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, the official claimed.
A Raju, the director of the ARDE, said the laboratory developed the design for the weapon. “In this case, we have followed the newly introduced concept of development cum production partner (DCPP) to execute the project and that is how the private firm is involved in it. Now, we have developed the weapon in collaboration. We will now conduct various internal trials at our firing range to test various aspects of the weapon before going for user trials,” he added.
Weapon testing is a time-consuming process. A weapon should attain the basic threshold of the forces’ requirements in terms of accuracy, smooth functioning etc, said the officials.
“We are in the process of constituting a board of officers, represented by the Indian Army, to carry out a series of user trials in different weather conditions. The user, in this case the army, will test the weapon in high-altitude regions, deserts, etc in the coming months. If the weapon does not meet a particular requirement, we will have to take necessary measures to attain it at the earliest,” Raju added.
The ARDE officials and members of the firm worked hard to develop the weapon in 100 days.
“It was a commendable achievement. We could do it because our design was already ready,” added the director.
G Ram Chaitanya Reddy, director of Dvipa Armour India, claimed that they are among 30 licenced holders to manufacture weapons for the armed forces. “It is the first successful joint venture project that we have executed in a record time. We have developed five rifles for testing in the first slot. We will give 15 more rifles to the ARDE for advanced testing,” he said.
Unique barrel manufacturing unit at ARDE
The ARDE has established a dedicated barrel manufacturing facility on its campus. The DRDO has spent Rs 60 crore on the project. It will manufacture barrels for various weapons in a quick time. It will help private industries to execute their weapon manufacturing projects, said officials.
The machines have been imported from Austria. The ordnance factories use these machines for manufacturing barrels.
PS Prasad, project director of the small arms section of the ARDE and in charge of the facility, said, “Private industries have got the licence to develop weapons. But they do not have the technology and facility to produce barrels for the weapons. In that case, they will have to import barrels. It is a costly affair for them. At the initial stage, no firm will get a huge quantity order for the weapon. So, they will not invest in this kind of facility. Also, we have the required expertise in this area. We have to handhold them. Otherwise, they will not be able to execute their projects. As a result, the DRDO invested in this project to meet their requirements.”
Prasad said that there is a high demand already from manufacturers for developing barrels that will be cost-effective as compared to the imported ones.





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