The Indian Army will, in all eventuality, induct a new modern submachine carbine (MSMC), following final trials scheduled for December 2009. The carbine has been developed by Pune-based Armaments Research and Development Establishment (ARDE).
The 5.56mm caliber MSMC will replace the Russian 9mm-caliber carbine currently used by the Indian Army and paramilitary forces.
According to ARDE director Anil M Datar, the organisation is in the process of proving 99.7 per cent reliability for the MSMC, which is effective to a maximum range of 200 metres.
The MSMC was originally part of the Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) programme, initiated in 1982 to provide an indigenous small arms weapons system for the Indian armed forces. A rifle, a light machine gun (LMG) and a carbine were eventually designed as part of the INSAS family, but even as the INSAS rifle and LMG were inducted for operational use, the carbine failed to pass muster.
The problem lay with the concept of using the same ammunition for all three weapon systems. The 5.56 ammunition proved to be too 'heavy' for the short range MSMC, giving a higher recoil and flash effect than was desirable. This has now been rectified with a shorter length of the round, though of the same calibre.
The INSAS rifle and LMG was severely tested during the Kargil War and found wanting in reliability. Based on battlefield experiences the ARDE developed the INSAS-1B1.