Home > Firearms > INSAS

INSAS

Assault rifle

INSAS

The INSAS is based on the Soviet AKM, but has a number of features from other designs

 
 
Country of origin India
Entered service 1998
Caliber 5.56x45 mm NATO
Weight (without magazine) 4.15 kg
Length 960 mm
Length (with folded stock) 750 mm
Barrel length 464 mm
Muzzle velocity 900 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 650 rpm
Practical rate of fire 20 - 50 rpm
Magazine capacity 20 rounds
Sighting range 400 m
Range of effective fire 600 m

 

   The INSAS (INdian Small Arms System) is a family of infantry arms, including assault rifle and light machine gun. Both of these weapons share the same basic design. A carbine was also planned, but eventually was not adopted. Development of the INSAS family reportedly commenced in the mid 1980s. The INSAS assault rifle was adopted alongside the light machine gun by the Indian armed forces in 1998. It replaced the L1A1 semi-automatic rifle used by the Indian armed forces since the late 1950s, and the Soviet AKM assault rifle, used since the early 1990s. The INSAS was also adopted by Indian armed police and paramilitary forces. To this day the INSAS is a standard-issue infantry weapon, even though India MoD is currently looking for its replacement. The INSAS has been exported to Bhutan, Nepal, and Oman. It is believed that around 300 000 examples were produced to this day. This weapon saw action during Kargil War (1999), Nepalese Civil War and the ongoing Naxalite-Maoist insurgency in India.

   The INSAS is based on the Soviet AKM, but has a number of features from other successful designs, such as the FN FAL (gas system), HK33 (charging handle), Steyr AUG (magazine), and Galil (side-folding metal buttstock).

   The INSAS is a gas operated weapon. It is chambered for a standard NATO 5.56x45 mm (.223 Remington) ammunition, opposed to Soviet 5.56x39 mm or 7.62x39 mm ammunition. Originally the INSAS was planned to be adopted in 1994. However the introduction was delayed due to design flaws and the lack of 5.56x45 mm ammunition in India. Eventually ammunition was obtained in large quantity from Israel. Otherwise the INSAS was produced without reliance on foreign components.

   This weapon is capable of semi-auto and 3-round burst firing modes. Fire mode selector is located on the left side, above the pistol grip. So basically the INSAS is a battle rifle, than a true assault rifle. Though there is a version of the INSAS with a full-auto mode.

   However it appeared that the INSAS has some reliability issues. This weapon tends to jam at high altitudes. Also its magazines crack due to cold weather and battlefield abuse. There was also a problem firing in 3-round burst mode - the weapon fired in full-auto instead. Some of the problems were eventually fixed on newer batches. However currently Indian armed forces are looking for a new weapon to replace the INSAS.

   There are various versions of this assault rifle. Some of them have solid buttstocks, made of wood (early version) or polymer.  There is also a version with side-folding metal buttstock. The INSAS also has a built-in carrying handle.

   The INSAS assault rifle is fed from 20-round capacity magazines. It is also compatible with 30-round capacity magazines, developed for INSAS light machine gun. Magazines are transparent. This feature was borrowed from the Austrian Steyr AUG. This handy feature allows to see the number rounds left, without removing the magazine from the weapon. Also magazines are designed to the M16 standard. However it appeared that these magazines tend to crack due to cold weather and can not hold battlefield abuse.

   This assault rifle has built-in iron sights. This weapon has a sighting range of 400 m. However it has effective range of 600 m against point targets. This weapon has a mounting point for telescopic or night sights.

   The INSAS assault rifle can mount a bayonet. It can be also fitted with a 40-mm underbarrel grenade launcher, or fire rifle grenades.

 

Variants

 

   INSAS Mk.1 is a baseline version with a solid buttstock.

   INSAS Mk.1A is a version with a side-folding metal buttstock. The buttstock is similar to that of the Israeli Galil, rather than that of the Soviet AKM. This weapon is intended for paratroopers, special forces and vehicle crews. This assault rifle has some minor differences, such as reshaped pistol grip. This version lacks "full-auto" firing mode.

   INSAS light machine gun. It was developed to complement the INSAS assault rifle and has the same basic design. It comes with a longer heavy barrel, bipod, and "full-auto" firing mode. Also this weapon has a different foregrip. It has an effective range of 700 m against area targets. This weapon is used as a standard issue squad-level fire support weapon.

   Kalantak is a carbine version of the INSAS assault rifle. The Kalantak has a sighting range of 300 m.

   Amogh is a personal defense weapon, chambered for a newly developed 5.56x30 mm ammunition. This weapon was developed for the troops, like vehicle crews, that do not need a full-size assault rifle, or troops that need a weapon for close combat engagements. The Amogh has a sighting range of 200 m.

   Excalibur is a recent improved version of the INSAS. Reliability issues were addressed. Test conducted in early 2015 were moderately successful with only two stoppages during testing after 24 000 firing rounds. The Excalibur is chambered for a standard NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition. In 2015 it has been reported that INSAS might be replaced by the Excalibur.

 

 
INSAS

Expand image

INSAS

Expand image

INSAS

Expand image

INSAS

Expand image

INSAS

Expand image
 
INSAS

Expand image

INSAS

Expand image

Personal appeal from Andrius Genys

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Home  Home     Aircraft     Helicopters     Tanks     Armored Vehicles     Artillery     Trucks     Engineering Vehicles     Missiles     Naval Forces     Firearms     |     Contact Us
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ARG 2006 - 2017
www.Military-Today.com INSAS