Indian commandos are a class apart when we talk about combat skill. But our black cats, as they are popularly known as, need the latest machines to tackle the bad guys. In a bid to equip the Special Forces, India is now upping the ammunition needs of the commandos that will make them deadly in the field, while being lightweight at the same time. The elite Special Forces are split into nine Para-special Forces and five Airborne battalions. Every black cat is selected after grueling training for months.
The need for lighter and latest arms was felt in 2015, when the commandos were raiding cross-border camps run by Northeastern militant groups in Myanmar. The Special Forces had to combat with cart loads of heavy weapons, including rocket launchers and flame-throwers, and walk long rocky terrains at night to reach their targets.
The Defence Ministry of India plans to acquire new assault rifles, sniper rifles, machine guns, slim rocket-launchers, shotguns, pistols, night-vision gadgets and other ammunition. RFPs (request for proposals) have already been sent to various arms companies in the US, Israel, Sweden and other companies for acquisition of specialised weaponry. The ammunition will make the Special Forces commandos ready to go to battle at short notice, and sustain prolonged operations for 10 days at a stretch.
As of now, a smaller consignment will be procured. The tender for new 9mm pistols with silencers is for just 500 pieces, while the one for assault rifles is restricted to 1,120 for now. Depending on the use and output of the ammunition, bigger repeat orders will be placed later.
After the latest consignment arrives, Indian commandos will have all the equipment that will make their operations easier.