Tuesday, September 15, 2020

More Firepower Per Manpower, IAF Garud Commandos Will Now Clip High-Capacity Drum Magazines To Their Assault Rifles

Tommy Gun - Drum Magazine - 01

Indian Air Force's [IAF] crack Special Operatives, the Garud Commando force, are set receive a significant boost to their firepower. The office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff [ACAS], Operations [Offensive], has issued an Invitation of Bids, seeking 2992 Nos. of Drum Magazines to go with it's standard-issue Israeli TAR-21 Assault Rifle. Responders have until October 1, 2020.

TAR-21 Assault Rifle - Drum Magazine - Indian Air Force - IAF - Invitation Of Bid - 01
Each such magazine would hold 60 rounds of the NATO-standard 5.56*45 mm calibre ammunition that that TAR-21 chambers. The conventional, NATO-standard STANAG magazine, in comparison holds 30 rounds. As a result, in the event of a firefight, a Garud could remain engaged for longer, spending half the time replacing the magazine. The IAF armoury holds a wide variety of Israeli-origin Tavor variants. It has, therefore, insisted that the magazine be compatible with all variants. The nearly 3000 strong requirement indicates it's widespread adoption among the Garuds.
TAVOR X95 Assault Rifle - Magpul PMAG D-650 Drum Magazine - 01
Tavor X95 Assault Rifle With Magpul PMAG D-60 Drum Magazine
Usually, consideration towards conscious use of ammunition portends to adopting mechanisms where an operative remains aware of his ammunition stock, despite the heat of the battle &, therefore, becomes judicious with it's use. A periodic magazine replacement is one such means. However, foreseeable Operational prerogatives have warranted IAF decision-makers towards adopting a high-capacity magazine. Even then, it has insisted that these high-strength Polymer magazines should have a mechanism for indicating the balance rounds it holds.
Garud Commando - Indian Air Force - IAF - 03

Mounting these larger Magazines, carrying more ammo, would also change the Rifle's weight distribution. Calls for some extended time at the firing ranges to get the balance right, & round on target. It would be the first time when high-capacity magazines are being sought for a force's standard issue weapon. At the Section level, Garud have adopted the IWI Negev LMG, that feeds from an ammunition belt, housed in a container [above].

Garud Commando - Indian Air Force - IAF - 03

The tactical gears kitting Garud Commandos have undergone a sea change over the years. A force of relatively recent heritage, at the time of raising, they were equipped with the OFB-manufactured INSAS rifles [above]. They have come a long way since then [below], for a force mandated to ingress deep into enemy territory, to exfiltrate a downed IAF pilot.

Garud Commando - Indian Air Force - IAF - 03
In popular culture, depiction of mob henchmen letting loose a fusillade from a Tommy Gun, in old-school crime capers, have made the Drum magazine a ubiquitous sight. An ode to the genre, the photograph on top.


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