Everything You Need To Know About SIG Sauer 716 Rifle - The Latest Addition To Indian Army's Arsenal

SIG Sauer 716 India
Recently our Army Chief General Bipin Rawat gave a speech in an event at Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi and said,
"The infantry soldiers are ever-ready to go into battle on short notice, and the army wants to empower them. And the empowerment happens by giving the soldier the right kind of war-waging material necessary for a soldier to accomplish its mission."
"Let me assure that the best rifle available in the world, the SIG Sauer from America will be available to the infantry soldiers by the end of this year." 
In this article you will get to know everything you need to know about the SIG Sauer assault rifle - its features, its speciality, why it is being inducted in the Indian Army and a lot more.

Context

SIG Sauer Inc. is an American company that manufactures firearms. It was founded in 2007 in Exeter, New Hampshire, United States. A German firearms company SIG Sauer GmbH, which was formed in 1976 is its parent company. 

SIG Sauer is one of the best firearm manufacturing company and has a history of manufacturing top-class firearms for various military and law enforcement units all over the world. The company also manufactures gun accessories like telescopic sights, red dot sights, iron sights, laser sights, suppressors, ammunition, gun cases and a lot more. 

The SIG Sauer 716 G2 Patrol is a modern assault rifle based on the AR-15 rifle design and is one of the best rifles in the world. It fires from a closed bolt, and has a short-stroke push rod gas system. The gas piston pushes the bolt carrier backwards, where it is returned to the forward and locked position by a spring. This process loads the next cartridge. It also has a four position gas regulator, allowing the user to choose the amount of gas directed to the piston. It is available in single shot, 3 shot burst and full automatic modes.

In February 2019, it was confirmed that India had placed an order for 72,400 units of SIG-716 Patrol G2 (Generation 2) model. The contract cost India 72 million US$. As General Bipin Rawat said, the rifles will be delivered by the end of December 2019.
bipin rawat sig sauer
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat speaking in an event in New Delhi Image Source - ANI News

You can read SIG Sauer's official statement on the contract by clicking here

Key Features

SIG Sauer 716 is a variant of the more popular SIG Sauer 516. The 716 variant variant fires 7.62x51mm NATO bullets as opposed to 516 variant that fires 5.56×45mm NATO bullets.

The exact technical specifications like barrel length, stock type, barrel material, weight, overall length, etc. will vary depending on Indian Army's requirements and the exact configuration has not been disclosed yet but according to my estimate, the configuration should be in line with Indian Army's Request For Information (RFI) Post.
sig sauer indian army
SIG716 G2 Patrol Image Source - sigsauer.com
Here are some key features that makes this rifle one of the best modern rifles in the world 

1. Built for harsh environments

It combines the reliability and ergonomics of the tried and tested SIG516 series rifle with the more powerful 7.62mm cartridge and features a short-stroke pushrod gas system. This advanced operating system reduces carbon fouling, excessive heat and unburned powder in the action, ensuring reliability and function that is unmatched by any other rifle.

2. Adjustable Gas Valve

All SIG716 G2 rifles have an adjustable gas valve that can be opened to increase gas flow when ammunition or adverse environmental conditions require additional cycling energy. Gas flow can also be reduced or shut-off for use with suppressors. 

3. Highly Adaptable

The SIG716 G2 comes standard with 6-position stock and polymer grip for the ultimate in ergonomic adaptability. It also features a free-floating, aluminium, KeyMod handguard with full-length integrated top rail which provides quick mounting for optics and accessories. It also features ambidextrous controls so that the rifle can be used easily by both left handed and right handed soldiers. 

Why is Indian Army buying it?

Given the present conditions where Pakistan always keeps on threatening India of a war, we need modern and reliable weapons. The INSAS rifle which is presently the standard issue rifle of the Indian Army, has its own shortcomings and is not very reliable. This is the reason why Indian Army is ditching the INSAS rifles and is moving on to more advanced and more reliable weapons like AK-203 and SIG Sauer 716. This small order of just 72,000 units might not solve 100% the problem but is a good step in the right direction. 

I also see it as a tactical move by our government to maintain good relations with both Russia and United States of America at the same time. Since India has signed a deal with Russia in which Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited, a company jointly owned by Ordnance Factory Board of India and Kalashnikov Concern and Rosoboronexport of Russia which will be manufacturing 7,50,000 units of the AK-203 rifles in India, we had to counter it by strengthening our ties with America. Indian government has done a very good job in maintaining strategic relations with countries that are enemies of each other. India has managed to maintain good relations with both Israel and Palestine, both Saudi and Iran etc. These are the countries which are the biggest enemies of each other.

What about INSAS? Shouldn't we focus on developing better indigenous weapons?

I agree that India should work on developing better indigenous weapons but until then, we should focus on doing the second best thing that we can do and in my opinion, buying better weapons from other countries looks like a better option as of now. We cannot wait for 20-30 years for the development of a modern indigenous weapon just like we did in the case of Arjun Tank and let our troops fight with the substandard INSAS rifles in the meantime. This approach can cost us the lives of many soldiers which is not acceptable. 

Setting up factories of non-indigenous rifles like the one in Amethi which will manufacture 7,50,000 units of AK-203 is also a good option. If India decides to develop its own indigenous rifles, I wish it doesn't turn out to be another failure like Arjun Tank. 

MUST READ : A Case Study of Arjun Tank || How Inefficient Bureaucracy and Dirty Politics Ruined a Very Important Project!


Hi, I am Pranjay Varshney. I am pursuing my B.Sc. (Hons) in Electronic Science from University of Delhi. My dream is to join the Indian Army as an officer and I am very passionate about it. I like to write articles about Indian Armed Forces and various political and economic affairs. I spend my free time doing gymnastics, listening to music or watching movies.

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The Radical - Information That Matters: Everything You Need To Know About SIG Sauer 716 Rifle - The Latest Addition To Indian Army's Arsenal
Everything You Need To Know About SIG Sauer 716 Rifle - The Latest Addition To Indian Army's Arsenal
The SIG Sauer 716 G2 Patrol is a modern assault rifle based on the AR-15 rifle design and is one of the best rifles in the world. It fires from a closed bolt, and has a short-stroke push rod gas system. The gas piston pushes the bolt carrier backwards, where it is returned to the forward and locked position by a spring. This process loads the next cartridge. It also has a four position gas regulator, allowing the user to choose the amount of gas directed to the piston. It is available in single shot, 3 shot burst and full automatic modes.
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