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INFANTRYIndia possesses the world’s second largest army, one that has been combat tested on every conceivable terrain, from the icy heights of the Siachen Glacier to the deserts of Rajasthan, the plains of Punjab, and the forests of the North East. India must constantly have a well-equipped military force due to unresolved border conflicts and hostile neighbours. The army must be prepared to deal with both foreign and domestic challenges. The threat of militancy in India’s North Eastern states, as well as state-sponsored terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, present the country with problems. The Indian army is constantly modernising to meet new challenges through the introduction of new equipment and technology. India is on track to become the world’s largest importer of military hardware. In this session, we will learn about the major weapons and equipment that our country’s Armed Forces now employ. The specifications of weapons and equipment are outlined for ease of comprehension in accordance with the tasks and responsibilities of the Army, Navy, and Air Force’s distinct combat arms.

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • explain the roles and functions of the Infantry, Armoured Corps, Mechnised Infantry, Artillery, Engineers, Army Air Defence, Army Aviation Corps, and Signals;
  • describe the various types of Naval ships; and
  • explain the Indian Air Force, its role and equipment.

Throughout history, foot soldiers have always taken the initiative and conquered territory in hostile terrain. Over the years, they have also manned our boundaries and safeguarded our territorial borders from intruders. Throughout history, countless individuals have defied the odds to win battles for their armies, and history is replete with their heroic stories. The infantry division of the Indian Army is its most powerful arm. It is a close-combat weapon designed to shorten the distance between the opponent and the attacker in order to physically assault and capture territory. Additionally, it is important to avoid internal animosity. Counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations need the infantry to demonstrate a high degree of commitment. To effectively fulfil the responsibilities given to the infantry, they should be equipped with the weapons and equipment mentioned below.

Infantry’s Weapons and Equipment

Assault Rifle, Sten Machine Carbine, 9mm Pistol and Hand Grenades are thepersonal weapons for individual soldiers. All soldiers and officers carry one of theseweapons along with hand grenades when they go to war. You can identify them from
the illustrations given.

5.56mm Light Machine Gun :

5.56mm Light Machine Gun

5.56mm Light Machine Gun

It can fire effectively up to 700m. It is an automatic gun and has a higher rate of fire than an assault rifle. It is useful in breaking the enemy forming up for final charge on own defences.

1. Calibre – 5.56mm.
2. Length of Rifle without bayonet – 960mm.
3. Length of Rifle with bayonet – 1110mm.
4. Length of Barrel – 464mm.

5. Weight
(a) Fixed butt with empty mag – 3.6 kg.
(b) Fixed butt with loaded mag – 3.69 kg.
(c) Empty mag – 90 gms.
(d) Full mag – 340gm.
(e) Bayonet – 305 gm.

6. Effective Range – 400 mtr.
7. Sight Radius – 470mm.
8. Muzzle velocity – 900m/s.
9. Principle of operation – Gas Op.
10. Penetration – 3mm at 700m.
11. Mode of fire – Single shot & three round burst (TRB).

12. Rate of Fire
(a) Normal – 60 rds/min.
(b) TRB – 90 rds/min.
(c) Intense – 150 rds /min.
(d) Cyclic – 600 to 650 rds/min.

13. Ammunition fired
(a) Ball Rd.
(b) Tracer Rd.
(c) Blank Rd.
(d) HD Cart.

84 mm Rocket Launcher:

84 mm Rocket Launcher

84 mm Rocket Launcher


This is used to destroy tanks, bunkers, vehicles etc. It can be used to illuminate the battle area as also for making smoke screens to hide movement of own troops.

(a) Caliber– 84 mm
(b) Weight– 16 kg with mount and telescopic sight
(c) Length – 1065 mm
(d) Traverse– No traverse of its own

(e) Range
(i) HEAT – 400m (moving targets) 500 m (stationery targets)
(ii) HE – 1000m (killing area 10 m)
(iii) Smoke – 1300 m (width 15 m)
(iv) Illumination – 2100 m (area of 400- 500 m diameter for 30 seconds)
(f) Rate of fire – Maximum sustained 06 rounds per minute.
(g) Types of ammunition– Heat, HE, Smoke, Illumination
(h) Armor Penetration – 400 mm (Heat)
(j) Back Blast Area – 15 m

7.62mm Medium Machine Gun:

7.62mm Medium Machine Gun

7.62mm Medium Machine Gun

It can fire 600 to 1000 rounds per minute at an effective distance of 1800m. The 30mm Automatic Grenade Launcher is best suited to engage enemies in the open. It has an ammunition box that can hold 30 grenades. It can fire up to 2300m.

(a) Weight
(i) Gun – 14.2 Kg
(ii) Tripod – 10.2Kg
(b) Effective Battle Range – 1800m
(c) Traverse – 360 degree
(d) No. of rounds in belt – 235 Rounds

(e) Rate of Fire.
(i) Normal – 100 rounds per min
(ii) Rapid – 200 rounds per min
(iii) Cyclic – 500-1000 rounds per min (Adjustable by setting of gas regulator)
(f) Length of Service Burst – 20 rounds
(g) Sustained Fire – Being air-cooled can maintain normal rate of fire indefinitely. However barrel should be changed after firing four belts.

(h) Beaten Zone. Range Beaten Zone
(i) 560m – 110m x 1m
(ii) 600m – 100m x 1m
(iii) 1200m – 65m x 3m
(iv) 1800m – 50m x 4m
(j) Trajectory – When the sight is fixed up to 600m bullets do not rise above 1.2m (4 ft).
(k) Night Firing – It is possible to fire the gun at night using passive night sight.

7.62 mm Dragunov Sniper Rifle:

7.62 mm Dragunov Sniper Rifle

7.62 mm Dragunov Sniper Rifle

It has an effective range of 800m and is widely used by sharp shooters and marksmen to eliminate individual enemy targets.  It is very effectively used on the Line of Control at our borders in Jammu and Kashmir.

(a) Caliber – 7.62mm
(b) Range – 800 Mtr
(c) Range with telescope sight – 1300 Mtr
(d) Weight – 4.3 Kg
(e) Magazine capacity – 10 Rounds
(f) Ammunition fired
(i) Armor Piercing.
(ii) Sniper Balls.
(iii) Steel Core.
(iv) Tracer
(v) Incendiary

The rifleman of an infantry rifle company is capable of closing with the enemy and neutralise him with his personnel weapon. However with the presence of company support weapons his punch increases. The company support weapons give additional effective strength to the Infantry Rifle Company both in defensive well as offensive operations.

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