At a time when the Eastern LAC in Ladakh is on a knife edge, geopolitical equations have become increasingly significant. Russia clearly sided with India and is now delivering arms to India on an immediate basis and has also pledged to not sell arms to Pakistan. France has already delivered the first batch of Rafale fighter jets which will prove to be a game changer for the Indian Air Force. Now, the United Arab Emirates is preparing to supply almost one lakh assault rifles through the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
UAE-based small arms manufacturer Caracal has stated that it will fast-track the supply of 93,895 CAR 816 assault rifles to the Indian Army. Caracal, which was selected by the Indian Ministry of Defence in 2018 to supply assault rifles to Indian Army, recently saw itself out of contention as the Indian Army planned to abort the deal which was already delayed to pricing issues. It is believed that PM Modi’s call for “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat” didn’t bode well for the deal and hence, the army was planning to abort the deal.
This has led to Caracal stating that it will completely manufacture the CAR 816 assault rifles in India, through the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The company has already identified the required land, facility and local partners to be able to commence production immediately, which will also oversee the transfer of technology. It is pertinent to note that over 20 per cent of the components fitted on the CAR 816 are already made in the country.
“Caracal was awarded the Close-Quarter Carbine contract in 2018 to supply the Indian Army with the CAR 816, after having undergone a rigorous selection process. With strong bilateral ties between our two nations, and with India being a key market for Caracal, we remain on standby to supply the product to the customer upon instruction,” said Chief Executive Officer of Caracal, Hamad Al Ameri.
The Indian Army currently possesses the 9mm Sterling carbines, which are set to be replaced with the CAR 816 who boast a higher bullet velocity and reduced weight as compared to the Sterling Carbines and will also be adapted to suit the needs of the Indian Army.
More importantly, Caracal is part of the missiles and weapons cluster within EDGE which is owned by the United Arab Emirates government and was inaugurated by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and the deputy supreme commander of the UAE Amed Forces, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Caracal has confirmed that it will fast-track the order and is ready to deliver 93,895 CAR 816 assault rifles within 12 months.
The timeline of the order is of extreme significance and will certainly give the Indian Armed Forces an advantage over the troops of China. The UAE has emerged as one of India’s strongest ally ever since the Modi government took over, and with the fast-tracking of the order it is clear where the UAE’s allegiances lie. The UAE also used to be one of the traditional allies of Pakistan and has repeatedly bailed out Pakistan from a certain economic disaster, but of late relations between the nations have taken a nosedive thanks to Imran Khan’s antics and poor foreign policy. In the advent of a limited war between India and China, Pakistan will most certainly join forces with its Chinese masters to corner India. The latest development is also a tight slap on Pakistan as the UAE has clearly indicated that it holds India in higher esteem as compared to China and Pakistan.