The Defence Acquisition Council on Tuesday approved a proposal to procure assault rifles and carbines worth Rs 3,547 crore. The proposal involves acquiring 72,000 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines for soldiers deployed on the borders, PTI reported.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman headed the meeting at which the the proposal was approved. The report quoted unidentified officials in the Defence Ministry as saying the decision was made to address the deficit of weapons for the armed forces.

The rifles and carbines will be acquired through the fast track procedure laid out in the Defence Procurement Procedure, 2016. These new assault rifles will replace the 5.56 mm Indian Small Arms System, or INSAS, rifles that were inducted in the Army more than 20 years ago, the Hindustan Times reported earlier in January.