India might produce firearms in the country in near future as leading UAE based arms manufacturer Caracal hints opening base in India
A gun manufacturer based in UAE, Caracal, has won a bid to manufacture and supply 93,000 carbines to the Indian army. According to a report by popular news agency The Tribune, the arms manufacturer informed of having a “make in India” plan. According to the report, the manufacturer is planning to have a manufacturing base in India, in the near future, for its entire range of small arms, which can be exported to other markets.
Hamad Salem Alameri, the CEO of Caracal has spoken to the news agency, The Tribune, over video conference. Caracal has its headquarters in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Caracal International LLC is the largest and the region’s leading original equipment manufacturer (OEM) small arms producer. The manufacturer deals in several weapons including the latest technology 9 mm striker-fired combat pistol, 9 mm submachine gun (SMG) in standard, compact, and suppressed versions, three AR15 derived tactical rifles, and three modular sniper rifles for use by civilians or professional law enforcement and military operators.
Caracal is an entity within its own rights. The company consists of wholly-owned subsidiaries in Germany and the USA. The arms manufacturer has a legacy of over 15 years for the production of firearms.
They deal in designing, engineering, manufacturing, and innovating battlefield proven firearms.
India makes 60 percent of the product the company selects, the CEO said, according to the report. The CEO also said that it is not just this close-quarter carbine for the Army. “We make an entire range of weapons like pistols,” the CEO said to The Tribune.
As the news agency, The Tribune asked them about their Indian partners, the CEO said, “We await the formal order and will share details of the local partner. We have already identified the required land and will be able to commence production to meet the timelines agreed upon with the Indian Defence Ministry.”
The company has to supply the carbines within 12 months from the signing of the contract.
Al Ameri also said, “Our focus remains on delivering a product which is best in quality and tailor-made as per the requirements of the Indian soldier.”
As they asked if his company would avail the 75 foreign direct investment route which India allows in defense manufacturing, Alameri said, “We will explore all potential possibilities while engaging with India. We are deeply invested in India. Not only we are prepared to supply quality weaponry that leverages cutting-edge technology, but also facilitates the transfer of technology and research and development facilities to India to build a more substantial ecosystem.”
In another interview, that the CEO of Caracal had with another popular news agency, The Hindu, the CEO said, “Once this first contract moves, lot of sister companies within the group will see this as a success story and people will have the confidence to come and invest in India.” He also believes that the most important message is that everyone is looking at and people are willing to come and invest in India and create jobs with the blessings of the two governments.
The arms manufacturer, Caracal, although was shortlisted two years back, recently the Indian Defence Ministry took the decision to cancel the order and go for the “make in India” route. However, no announcement has been made yet.
The CEO said, “Nothing came to us officially on the cancellation or on the intent of cancellation.”
The CEO informed during the interview that they have identified four locations to set up their facility and have also identified local partners so that they can be able to start production as soon as possible. The company CEO also informed that 20 percent of the components that are fitted in CAR 816 are already manufactured in India.
In January 2018, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), through the Fast Track Procurement (FTP) route approved deals for 72,400 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines.