India was given freedom from British rule in 1947.At that time the standing army had strength of about 400,000.This was down from a peak of about 2.5 million during the second world war. The Indian army at that time was equipped with the .303 Enfield rifle. This was a bolt action rifle but very versatile and efficient.However it was weapon of a bygone age.
The pacifist policies of Nehru resulted in the fact that this main weapon for the infantry soldier was not upgraded for 15 long years. When the Chinese army struck across the northern borders in 1962 the Indian soldier equipped with the obsolete .303 was greatly handicapped.
The end of the India China war saw the dawning of reality on the political leadership which now gave the green signal for the up gradation of the basic rifle for the infantry soldier. A start was made through the government owned ordinance factories and they started manufacturing the latest weapons. These were subsequently made available to the Indian army.
The ordinance factories presently manufacture integrated small arms weaponry often referred to as INSAS (Indian Small Arms System). This entire family consists of an assault rifle, a light machine gun and a carbine. The nodal point for the manufacture of these light arms is at the Indian ordinance factory at Ishapore in West Bengal
The infantry regiments of the Indian Army are now equipped with this assault rifle. This rifle has nothing original about it and is based on the AK 47 Kalashnikov. The Indian ordinance factories have however incorporated some changes in the mechanism of the weapon and for this purpose they have relied on the German HK G3 rifle and the FN Fall rifle (Fusil Automatique Leger – Light Automatic Rifle). The FN Fall rifle is a very famous weapon of German origin.
However the Indian made rifles somehow do not match the quality control of their counterparts manufactured by the western world. In fact reports suggest that this rifle is prone to jamming at sub zero temepratures. However the R & D is making improvements an dthe newer lot expected may not have this defect