Ghatak : The deadliest Assault Rifle

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A modern, reliable assault rifle is the very basic and primary weapon of an infantry soldier posted either on the border or deployed for counter militancy missions in the hinterland. As per the Armys experience, the 5.56mm rifle is considered better for conventional war since it generally injures an enemy soldier, which ties down at least two of his colleagues to carry him as well as hits general morale in the opposing force. The 7.62mm rifle is preferred for counter-insurgency since the aim is to kill a terrorist at the first instance before he can unleash mayhem.

To fulfil the requirement, OFB took an initiative for 7.62mm assault rifle and succeeded in it. Three ordnance factories tried to develop their own variants. Of the three prototypes, the one developed by Rifle Factory Ishapore(RFI) cleared all preliminary tests.

Rifle Factory Ishapore has a long history of developing and making rifles. During the World Wars, this factory produced .303 bolt-action rifles for the Allied forces. After the 1962 Sino-India conflict, the factory developed and built the 7.62mm self-loading semi-automatic rifle, also known as the Ishapore Rifle. This became the mainstay for the Indian security forces for several decades. In the 90’s, the factory started manufacturing the 5.56mm INSAS rifles that are still the primary personal weapon of the Indian infantryman.

Indigenously developed Ghatak assault rifle has all the features of state-of- the-art assault rifle. The weapon is ideal for counter insurgency using 7.62 X 39 mm ammunition. It is robust enough to withstand rough usage. It has all the features and more advanced in every aspect compared to AK-47. It has high accuracy and reliability. It is designed to replace the existing aging AK-47 assault rifles used by the Indian armed forces. Its a milestone in OFB efforts towards self-reliance in small arms production in India.

Ghatak Assault rifle is a gas operated weapon with rotating bolt locking system. It fires the 7.62×39mm cartridge with a muzzle velocity of 670 m/s. Without magazine, the rifle weighs 3.08 kg (fixed butt). It can hold 30 rounds in its polycarbonate magazine which can be fired at Single shot or in automatic mode with a firing rate of 600 rounds per minute. The effective firing range is 400m. The foresight is pillar type and rearsight is ‘U’ notched, Graduated and Ramp type(100-800). It is provided with mechanical and applied safety. With fixed wooden butt, the length is 890mm. The 414mm barrel of the weapon is Chromium plated for longer life. A light weight modular handguard with detachable Picatinny rail on upside and down and slot rail sections in sides where more rails can be added as per need.

The trial of Ghatak was conducted by the MHA constituted board of officers, comprising of high-level officials from the BSF, CRPF, ITBP, Assam Rifles and SSB in at Rifle Factory Ishapore. The MHA team conducted an exhaustive firing trial subject to various tests like Drop test, Mud test, Water Immersion test etc. A testing of 800 rounds was fired from two rifles each without stoppage.

According to Ministry of defence, (MOD) Press Release Ghatak assault rifle (7.62X39mm) developed by Rifle Factory Ishapore (RFI) has been cleared by Paramilitary forces. Ghatak assault rifle has met all the technical parameters of General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQRs) issued by Paramilitary forces which fall under Ministry of Home affairs. Final User trails of Ghatak assault rifle (AR) was found satisfactory by Paramilitary forces and Ministry of Home affairs likely will place first batch order of 3000 rifles with Rifle Factory Ishapore (RFI) soon. It is also has been evaluated by Indian Army for its Ghatak Commando forces which has requirements for new 7.62mm Assault rifles.

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This article has been written by K.R exclusively for

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