Indian elite forces get big upgrade with new snipers, underwater 'chariots'

File photo of Indian security forces.
India's special forces will soon be fielding new sniper rifles, anti-tank weapons that are man-portable, midget submarines and micro unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance. The gadgets, munitions and platforms are earmarked for the Indian Army's special forces battalions, the Para-SF, the Navy's special forces unit, called Marcos, and the Air Force's (IAF's) Garud Commando Force.      

Multiple contracts worth billions of rupees have already been inked to equip these elite special forces, the Times of India on Thursday reported, citing sources from the Ministry of Defence. The equipment being bought is built by companies based in Sweden, Finland, Italy, Israel, Russia and Germany.   

Here's what the forces are getting according to the report:

1) Indian Army's Para-SF:

a) Sniper rifles from Finland's Sako. The report does not specify the make or model. However, given that it is meant for military applications, the rifle will most likely be a model belonging to Sako's TRG series. 

Here is Sako's flagship model for defence and law enforcement, the TRG M10. There are five rifles in total in the series. Which one of them will be fielded by Indian forces is not confirmed yet. Photo:

b)Carl Gustaf Mark-4 lightweight rocket-launchers from Sweden's Saab. 

The Carl-Gustaf M4 weapons system. Photo:

c)Beretta pistols from Italy equipped with suppressors. 

2) India Navy's Marcos:

a) VSS suppressed sniper rifles from Russia. The rifle is also called the Vintorez. Two variants are known, the 6P29 (Russian designation) and the 6P29M, which is the modern variant. The national daily does not specify which variant will be procured, and Business Standard could not verify whether only the modern variant is on offer for exports. has posted several images of the VSS rifle on Twitter. 

VSSM (6P29M) with mounted Shvabe 1P86 selective dual role sight - with an optional x1 collimator (CQB) or x4 magnification setting.

Note the Picatinny rail suppressor sleeve with a mounted bipod that's been moved forward.

Images 2018 ©Konstantin Lazarev

— (@Russian_Defence) April 1, 2018

b) Rubberised inflatable boats that can be air-dropped. 

c) Remotely-operated underwater vehicles that will be used to dispose of explosives.

d) Combat free-fall parachutes.

e) Two midget submarines, called "chariots", under a Rs 20.17-billion project.

3) IAF's Garud commandos:

a) Sniper rifles and thermal sights. 

b) The Garuds have already inducted 65 micro drones, the ToI report said, citing an official.       

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