The Army has begun the process of evaluating assault rifles and close-quarter battle (CQB) carbines to be procured from foreign manufacturers on a fast-track basis to meet urgent requirements.

“As per the Fast Track Procurement (FTP), an empowered committee headed by a Brigadier is going to various countries to evaluate the assault rifles and carbines at the site of the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM),” an Army source said on Tuesday.

The team left on Saturday and will visit the OEMs in Australia, Israel, South Korea, UAE and the U.S. from where bids have been received.

In FTP, there is no elaborate general staff evaluation and the entire process is expected to be completed in a year. The evaluation is based on operational requirements.

The broad parameters for the assault rifle are an effective range of 500m and weigh less than 3kg. For the carbine, the effective range should be 200m and weigh less than 2kg.

After evaluation, the guns will be brought to India for compatibility testing with local ammunition and check performance in different weather conditions. After this, bids of the compliant OEMs will be opened.

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