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Rising demand for Trichy assault rifle from red corridor: OFT GM

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TRICHY: Ordnance Factory of Tiruchirapalli (OFT) general manager Shirish Khare has said that there is a rising demand for the Trichy Assault Rifle (TAR), from state police forces facing Naxal-Maoist insurgency in the country.
Khare was speaking on the sidelines of Ordnance Factories Day on the OFT campus here on Saturday. He said that the factory was developing two new weapons - 7.62mm PKT (mountable) gun and 38mm auto grenade launcher system (AGS).
A year ago, 7.62X39mm assault rifle christened as Trichy Assault Rifle (TAR) available in both automatic and single fire modes was developed and launched by OFT to address the operational requirements of the state police in red corridor (Maoist-Naxalite prone states).
Initially, it was Chhattisgarh state police which had placed orders for procuring TAR. Considering the effectiveness of the weapon, the state police forces of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Kerala as well as Mumbai police followed suit.
Though Jharkhand has shown interest in purchasing the indigenous weapon, OFT sources said that the state is yet to place orders. “Reception among the state police forces and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for TAR is exceptionally good. Even CRPF that conducted extensive field trials early in November 2017 is most likely to place the order,” Shirish Khare told TOI.
The CRPF was said to have approved the indigenous weapon manufactured in OFT facility. TAR is an outcome of 1.5-year-old ‘7.62X39 mm Assault Rifle Project’ and is available in three variants such as fixed butt, side foldable, and under folding models.
Official sources said that the OFT here has, thus far, supplied 1,200 units of TAR to state police forces, and in the next fiscal, as many as 1,700 units are expected to be supplied as part of fulfilling the total orders placed by police forces seeking 4,000 rifle units.


“We are almost in the final stage of completing the new weapons such as PKT mountable gun and 38mm Auto Grenade Launcher System (AGS). Within a year, a prototype for those will be produced. So far, we have enough men and machinery to cater the needs. Modernisation is a periodical process,” Khare added.
The OFT facility has an approximate workforce of 1,500 persons involved in manufacturing defence equipment.
Meanwhile, the journey of OFT in developing small arms, modern weapons, and futuristic weapons was exhibited in photo and weapon exhibition on the OFT premises on Saturday for public view as a part of Ordnance Factories Day celebration.
The ordnance factory established in 1966 by then prime minister Indira Gandhi supplies rifle and grenade launchers to the armed forces and paramilitary forces promoting the indigenous defence production.

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