Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems, India’s first privately owned small arms manufacturer, are set to begin building IWI X95s in Madhya Pradesh. The new joint venture with IWI will produce not just the X95 but also the Galil designated marksman variant, the Negev light machine gun and the original Tavor bullpup rifle.
Punj Lloyd opened the first Indian private small arms manufacturing unit back in May, with Madhya Pradesh’s Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Israel’s ambassador Daniel Carmon present. The plant began a phased production plan, first manufacturing weapon parts, which will be shipped back to Israel. The joint venture is part of India’s Make In India initiative. Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems does not have a license to export IWI products.
Mark Shachar, VP of Business Development, SK Group of which IWI is a part said: “This plant will be a hub for us to manufacture weapons for the Indian armed forces and in the future we will export them to the world. We will also make the plant a centre of maintenance for all these guns for India and abroad.”
A press release from the company said:
/Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems Private Limited (PLR) is a Joint Venture company between Punj Lloyd Industries Limited (PLIL) and Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) for the development and manufacturing of Small Arms in India.
Punj Lloyd has strategically diversified into Defence and Aerospace and has established itself as a credible player for defence equipment with a focus on state-of-the-art technology. The group has a multi pronged defence strategy with an objective to become a supplier of choice to the Indian Armed Forces and provide impetus to the ‘Make in India’ programme.
Israel Weapon Industries is a world leader in innovative small arm systems for over 80
years. The weapons are widely used by military and homeland security agencies worldwide.
The IWI product range and accessories are deployed by the Israel Defence Forces and other leading global organisations seeking technological innovation, manufacturing excellence and outstanding performance. They are battle proven around the world under extreme and adverse environmental conditions.
The IWI TAVOR Assault Rifles are in service in India with the Special Forces units of the
Indian Army (Para SF), Navy (MARCOS), Air Force (GARUD) and CRPF (CoBRA) and multiple State Armed Police Forces.
A cutting-edge, world-class manufacturing facility has been established by Punj Lloyd
Raksha Systems Pvt Ltd to indigenously manufacture the complete range of Small Arms
Weapon Systems comprising X95 (Multi Calibre Rifle), Galil Sniper, Tavor (Assault Rifle) and Negev (Light Machine Gun) in India.
The Indian Army is currently in search of a number of rifles to fit various roles with a procurement saga stretching back many years. Senior army officials are currently on a fact finding mission touring select foreign small arms manufacturers who have submitted proposals for India’s future service rifle.
Dr. Raghuwanshi, Associate Vice President of Unji Lloyd’s Defence Manufacturing & Systems Integration Division told the Economic Times of India that “after we start assembling the weapons here, the work done by the IWI on the tenders floated by the army will be given to us.”