Reports have surfaced recently regarding the Indian Army Sniper beginning the method of importing 5,000-6,000 modern sniper rifles for ₹982 crores to replace the Dragunov sniper rifle that’s in service presently. It’s going to take 3 to 5 years for the import/manufacture to fructify. There have been also reports of long-range sniper ‘kills’ being achieved by Western armies, with a Canadian sniper team having achieved an astounding 3540-meter ‘kill’ in Iraq. Each report evinced tons of public interest, particularly in light-weight of earlier reports and videos of Pakistani snipers of scoring ‘kills’ on the Line of Control (LOC) however with no corresponding news regarding similar exploits by our snipers.
What, then, is the state of the ‘art of sniping’ within the Indian Army? are we with success exploiting our snipers? If we don’t seem to be, then why is it so?
Interestingly, the word “sniper’” owes its origin to the British Indian Army of the late eighteenth century. A snipe may be a migratory water bird, that has currently become rare in India. An elusive bird, the snipe was tough to shoot – each on the ground and on the wing, because of its surround in slushy waters, its alertness and its dodgy, ever-changing flight.
Indian Army Needs More Snipers:
To shoot a snipe on the ground or on the wing, extraordinary skills of fieldcraft and skill were needed. A soldier good in shooting snipes was referred to as a “sniper”. Universally, all armies maintain sharpshooters quads within the foot and special forces (SF) units. “Sniping” may be a specialized task. A sniper has got to be physically match, mentally sturdy, skillful at fieldcraft associate degreed an exceptional shot. He should have the patience to attend or stalk for hours on finish to urge that one “sure shot”.
Even a light crosswind of eight kmph would have needed the Canadian team mentioned on top of to ‘off-set’ the aim by thirty feet or nine meters! whereas small caliber, appreciate the 7.62, is used up to ranges of 1300 meters, for extended ranges heavy calibers up to .50 inch or twenty-five mm are needed.
Snipers are and during effective in conventional and counter-insurgency (CI) operations whereby enemy soldiers, commanders, and terrorists, based on intelligence and observation, are killed at long ranges. Snipers are used to shooting terrorists in crowds, in hostage things, and through a firefight wherever the sniper is in an over-watch position.
Since the snipers are extremely skilled they make each shot count. Within the Vietnam war, 50,000 rounds were fired to kill one enemy soldier. The statistics don’t seem to be famous for our army, however, a rough check done by me in CI operations in J&K revealed we were using 5,000 rounds to kill one terrorist. Snipers, on the other hand, take only 1.3 rounds to achieve a kill. Most armies appreciate the price of snipers and use elaborate coaching strategies to develop this resource.
In the Indian Army, up the to late Fifties, there used to be sniper Sections of ten men in every infantry Battalion. This squad operated directly beneath the commander. They might use the Lee Enfield.303 No four Mark 1(T) Rifle, considered to be one among the best sharpshooter rifles that proved its courageousness throughout the Second world war. A really powerful sniper course was additionally run at the infantry faculty till l970.
Indian Army Sniper Training:
When we switched over to the semi-automatic 7.62 mm Indian Army Sniper within the 1960s, no replacement was found for the recent sniper rifle. each the sniper rifle and the sniper section merely disappeared from the army for thirty years.
In the early Nineteen Nineties, the sniper rifle SVDN sniper rifle with a spread of 1300 meters was introduced. India has just about 360 army unit Battalions, fifty Assam Rifles Battalions, and sixty-two Rashtriya Rifles Battalions a total of 472 battalions. every battalion is authorized ten sniper rifles, which adds up to an approximate total of 4720 sniper rifles. There’s no specialist trade of “sniper”, however any soldier after coaching mans the sniper rifle. Generally, 2 snipers are trained in every of the four rifle firms and 2are a part of the Ghatak Platoon.
The Indian Army’s strength is the army unit ethos and élan. The ability levels are average and assumed to be remunerated by motivation and attribute. Adequate attention isn’t paid to choice, coaching, and support of specialists such as the snipers. Indian infantry doesn’t follow the specialist trade system and a jack-of-all-trades is simply not ok for specialist tasks. Consequently, we’ve didn’t exploit the “art of sniping” in CI operations or on the LOC. Imagine a terrorist being seen by a source being killed at 1,000 meters or more.
The universal test of a sniper is to get, first, a “headshot” at 600 meters followed by a “body(chest) shot” at meters which too once associate indefinite wait during a hide or prolonged stalking. If a sniper cannot pass this test, he can’t be referred to as a sniper and remains a marksman or a sharpshooter. To the simplest of my knowledge, most of our snipers cannot pass this test. If there are a few exceptions, they solely prove the rule.
The irony is that we gave the word “sniper” to the military world, but—despite 4720 fairly effective Dragunov sniper Rifles in service we merely don’t have enough ‘snipers’ to use them.
Indian Army Sniper List:
|Steyr SSG 69||Sniper rifle||7.62×51mm
|Austria||Status: Inducted. Standard bolt-action sniper rifle.|
|Mauser SP66||Sniper rifle||7.62×51mm NATO||Germany||Status: Inducted. Standard bolt-action sniper rifle.|
|Heckler & Koch PSG1||Sniper rifle||7.62×51mm NATO||Germany||Status: Inducted.|
|IMI Galil 7.62 Sniper||Sniper Rifle||7.62×51mm NATO||Israel||Status: Inducted.
For use by Indian Army Special Forces snipers.
|Dragunov SVD||Sniper rifle||7.62×54mmR|| Soviet Union
Standard Designated Marksman Rifle(DMR). To be replaced by a 7.62mm NATO DMR under the Army modernization plan.
|Sig Sauer SSG 3000||Sniper rifle||7.62×51mm NATO||Germany||Status: Inducted. Standard bolt-action sniper rifle.|