New Delhi: The Indian soldier’s primary weapon INSAS rifle gave them major trouble for long until the problems were rectified a few years ago. The problem was an oil spray right into their eyes from the rifle immediately after it was fired.
This was disclosed by Minister of State for Defense Mallipudi Mangapati Pallam Raju in the Lok Sabha (Indian Lower House of Parliament) Monday in a written reply to questions from members. “Prior to 2003, Indian Army had reported a problem of oil spray in the eyes of the firer,” Raju said.
Among the defects noticed in the rifle were improper heat treatment and material, firing of segregated ammunition lot and improper drill by the user. In each of these defects, corrective action has been taken, Raju said. “Based on the feedback, corrective action was taken and the design was modified. Since then, no adverse feedback has been received,” he said.
“Besides, the remedial and improvement measures suggested by the defect investigation team are intimated to the manufacturer and the user.”
Raju also noted that the use of INSAS had caused some minor accidents during firing practice. Since 2009 to July this year, there were 178 accidents or defects. There were 68 such incidents in 2009 and 69 in 2010. This year, till July, there were 41 such reports.
In these years, army personnel suffered minor injuries in these incidents. 2009 saw six men injured. In 2010, there were just two injuries. Till July this year, only one incidents has been reported, Raju added.
He said the army has a defect report system in place and the authorities concerned immediately conduct an investigation with other relevant agencies to look into the causes of the accident.