Weapons and Arms of Indian Army

The equipment of the Indian army include Infantry weapons such as small arms, rockets & mortars; Vehicles, Combat vehicles such as battle Tanks, Artillery, Missile Systems and Aircrafts. Most of the equipments are imported with an increasingly use of indigenous components and equipments. For tactical air transport, logistics etc. Army Aviation Corps is main responsible arm.  Here are some notable trivia for your Prelims Examination (Only those have been included which may be asked in some examination)



INSAS (INdian Small Arms System) is a family of assault rifles and light machine guns inducted since 1998 in Indian Army. The family comprises INSAS Standard Rifle, INSAS Assault Rifle, Light Machine Gun (LMG) and three new versions of INSAS viz. Excalibur, Kalantak and Amogh. INSAS is being used by Indian Army, Nepal Army (India sold to Nepal @70% subsidy), Bhutan and Oman. The rifle was used in Kargil war. The design of INSAS is influenced by AK-47 rifle, however it has shown some design flaws ever since it was circulated in the army. The rifle was developed by ARDE, Pune of DRDO. Currently, ARDE is producing the Multi Caliber Individual Weapon System (MCIWS) as a new assault rifle to replace the INSAS and AK rifles.


DRDO Daksh

DRDO Daksh is a remote controlled bomb disposal robot. It is fully automatic, can climb staircases, navigate row lanes, steep slopes and two vehicles to find the bombs. If it finds a Bomb, it would simply throw water on it and diffuse it.


Arjun MBT

Arjun Battle Tank was developed by DRDO’s Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) due to delays and other issues in acquiring the T-90S tanks from Russia. The tank is in service since 2004. The tank initially relied heavily on imported components but gradually, such components are being replace by the indigenous ones. For its protection, DRDO has developed an armour called Kanchan, named after Kanchanbagh Hyderabad, location of Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL).

Currently, DRDO is developing its Arjun Mark-II variant to improve its performance.

T-90 Bhishma

India had purchased over 300 T-90S tanks from Russia in 2001 due to delays in Arjun Tank production. As per a 2006 contract, 330 T-90M tanks were to be manufactured at Avadi factory. This T-90M has been renamed as Bhishma and is tailored as per Indian requirements. First batch of 10 such tanks was inducted in the army in 2009.

Vijayanta Tank

Vijayanta Tank is not in service now. It was the first indigenous battle tank of India and it remained in service from 1965 to 2008.

T-72 Ajeya Tank

Once the Vijayanta Tank was out of service, they were superseded by the Russia’s T-72 Tanks, whose Indian versions are Ajeya MK1 and Ajeya MK2.

BMP-2 Sarath Tank

India had purchased technology of BMP-2 Sarath Tank from Russia back in 1990s. Most of them were produced in India and currently, some 1500 Sarath Tanks are in service of the army. The Modi Government has given nod to produce 362 BMP-2 Saraths. Kindly note that Sarath has also been modified into the NAMICA (Nag Missile Carrier), which is a tank destroyer.


Bofors Haubits FH77

India had acquired 410 Bofors Haubits FH77 between 1986 to 1991. These howitzers rocked the Indian polity due to the so called Bofors scam attached to their purchase. Nevertheless, the howitzers performed excellently in the Kargil war and proved their worth, which nobody talked about when they were being procured. Currently, the Government is planning to replace them with Dhanush Howitzer.

Dhanush Howitzer

This is India’s indigenously produced Howitzer. Currently, version 2 is under development.

Pinaka MBRL

Pinaka MBRL (Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher) system has been inducted in Indian Army in large number. It can send a rocket to around 40 Kilometers and can fire 12 HE rockets in 44 seconds, neutralizing a target area of 3.9 km². It has been in service since 1990s and performed well in the Kargil War. Currently, India produces around 5000 Pinaka MBRL every year. After the success of the Pinaka multiple rocket launcher, ordnance factories are now developing Pinaka Mark II.

Antitank Missiles

The notable antitank missiles of India include Spike, Nag, MILAN and Helina.

Nag and Helina

Nag is an antitank missile of India indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). HeliNa is a helicopter-launched version of Nag missile. The Operational range of Nag / Helina is 500m to 4 km (Land version), 7-10km (Air-launched).


Spike is a fire and forget anti-tankl missile developed by Israel company Rafael. Currently, India has ordered for their purchase from Rafael. Kindly note that India has chosen to purchase Spike instead of  US Javelin in October 2014.


MILAN missile was developed by France. India’s Bharat Dynamics Ltd has produced these missiles with license from the original producers.


Among utility helicopters of Indian Army include HAL Rudra, HAL Chetak, HAL Cheetah, HAL Cheetal, HAL Dhruv etc. Cheetah and Chetak form the vintage fleet of helicopters used to move troops and equipments to high-altitude locations. The Government is in the process of replacing them with new utility helicopters. Among attack helicopters, Indian army has HAL Rudra.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

Rustom-1 is the name of India’s a medium-altitude and long-endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), which is being developed by the Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE). Rustam-1 follows two other UAVs Lakshya and Nishant developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment. Laksya is a drone can be remotely piloted by a ground control station and provides aerial sub-targets for live-fire training. Nishant is a surveillance aircraft which has the main job of intelligence gathering over enemy territory. Rustam has endurance of 12-15 hours and can carry pay load of 75 kilograms. The altitude ceiling is 25000 feet. Rustam can be used by Indian Army, Navy and Airforce, all of them. Currently, Rustom-II is under development.

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