The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) launched 'Ugram' (ferocious) on Monday, a cutting-edge assault rifle with a 7.62 x 51 mm calibre. The rifle is a result of indigenous design, development, and manufacturing in partnership with a private firm. Tailored to meet the operational needs of armed forces, paramilitary units, and state police, 'Ugram' boasts an effective range of 500 metres while weighing less than four kilograms.
Developed at DRDO’s Armament Research and Development Establishments (ARDE) in Pune, in collaboration with Hyderabad-based Dvipa Armour India Private Limited, this assault rifle comes with a 20-round magazine and offers both single and full auto firing modes. Its configuration draws comparison with the latest AK and AR-type rifles, characterised by a rivet-free design that ensures sturdiness.
Scientists involved in the project emphasised that the rifle was crafted to align with the Indian Army's General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQRs) for modern assault rifles.
Addressing the rifle's development process, ARDE Director Ankathi Raju highlighted, “This was a mission mode project taken up two years ago. After the ARDE designed the rifle, we started looking for a private industry partner for development and manufacturing."
Raju further elaborated on the developmental strategy, stating, “We have followed the concept of Development cum Production Partner (DcPP) for the speedy progress of the project. Under this, the vendor is associated with us during the design and production too."
Discussing the next steps, Raju mentioned, “As part of its trial, a set number of rounds will be fired from 'Ugram' without stoppage, and accuracy and consistency checks will be conducted."
He also highlighted the rigorous testing process, stating, “The weapon will be tested in various weather and geographic conditions including high altitude, desert, etc. A board of Army officers will be constituted for the acceptance procedure."
Raju emphasised the importance of compliance, mentioning, "If some non-compliances are found, we will have to address them in a specific time and the trials will be redone."
Highlighting the swift pace of development, Raju noted, “While the process of design and design-related analysis started two years ago, the development in collaboration with the private vendor was completed in 100 days."