Indian Special Forces utilize a wide-range of top rated military hardware around the world for the wide plethora of operations they conduct. This gives them the need to be armed with a variety of weapons. Working in high-risk terrains and environment , these weapons held them to perform much better. This gives them an edge over Infantry since with the “Special Forces” tag and Special set of Skills they acquire , they also need Special Weapons which give them a go-ahead to conduct those operations which are beyond the capability of normal Infantry units.
Most of the times the weapon acquired by Indian Special Forces are kept in dark from public to maintain the secrecy of the unit and its capabilities to the best. However this list has been compiled on the basis of those weapons which has been spotted being used by Indian Special Forces. This list however also does not maintain the superiority of one weapon platform ( sometimes people compare Tavor family to the Kalashnikovs ) to another since every weapon has its own specific philosophy and roles where they act as the best.
1. Tavor family of rifles :
The one weapon platform which has become standard in all the three Special Forces wings of Indian Armed Forces has been the Tavor family of rifles. Indian Special Forces since long wanted a single rifle platform they are to use to main commoniality in parts among them which is most important. Tavor family gave them the exact requirements with various variants of same standard TAR-21 being used : GTAR-21 ( Grenadier Variant ) , STAR-21 ( Marksman Variant ) and CTAR-21 ( Carbine Variant ). The Tavor family of rifles were first adopted by Para SF and SFF and later they were adopted as standard issue by MARCOS and Garuds as well. X-95 , a derivative of Tavor family is also used by CRPF COBRA , BSF Commandos and other State Commando and Counter-Terrorism Units.
2. Kalashnikovs and its variants :
The one weapon which has been ubiquitous with Indian Special Forces since decades have been the Kalashnikovs. SFF was the first force to acquire Bulgarian AKMs back with Para SF acquiring captured Chinese-made Type 56 rifles. Later Para SF acquired the AK-63D from Hungary and after IPKF times mass-induction of Kalashnikovs began to be used by Special Forces units and Infantry units alike. Indian Special Forces utilize a wide variant of Kalashnikovs and its derivatives like the AR-M1 ( Bulgarian copy of AK-47 ), Mpi KMS-72 ( East German produced AK-knockoff ) , Romanian AKs like Md.63 and Md.90 and Galil SAR ( whose design is inherited from RK-62 which itself is an improved version of AK-47 ). Para SF also used Vz.58 which is widely mistaken to be an AK-knockoff due to outward appearance however it features no similarity to AK-47 except the rounds it fires. Vz.58 was standard issue in Para SF until replaced by Tavors.
3. Carl Gustav Recoil-Less Rifle :
This 84 mm man-portable reusable anti-tank recoilless rifle developed by OFB through license from Swedish Saab is easily one of the best weapon used by Indian Special Forces units being used to destroy bunkers , lightly armored targets , fortifications and more thanks to its accuracy, impressive range and firepower. It has tactical flexibility through its wide range of ammunition type which it can fire : HEAT , HEDP , SMOKE , HE and more. It is also used by many Special Forces units in the world alike thanks to wide number of features it possess which makes it a “one-man artillery” in the battlefield.
4. MP-5 Submachine Gun :
This weapon has been in use with many Indian Special Forces units since almost 4 decades and its popularity has still not faded. Being used as a Close Quarter Battle ( CQB ) weapon it is used by NSG , MARCOS and a plethora of Indian SWAT and Anti-Terrorism Units for CQB roles. Chambered for a German 9x19mm Parabellum round the damage and precision fire inflicted by it is still unmatched for many SMGs which has lead many Counter-Terrorism and SWAT units to use this weapon. Coupled with a high fire-rate and being light-weight this weapon has gained a legendary status on par with AK-47 and AR-15.
5. SIG SG550 Series of Rifles :
This weapon combines the Kalashnikov long-stroke gas piston with closed bolt system which makes it an extremely reliable and accurate weapon system. Just like Tavor , it has got many variants with National Security Guard using this rifle platform in bulk. It features ambidextrous safety controls, foldable butt-stock and a high rate of firepower to make it a perfect weapon for a wide variety of missions. NSG uses : SG551SB ( Short-Barrel ) , SG553LB ( Long-Barrel ) and SG553SB ( Short Barrel ) variant of SG550. This rifle platform is also in use with various SWAT and Counter-Terrorism units like Punjab SWAT and others.
6. Galatz Sniper Rifle :
The sniperised variant of Galil platform it is chambered for a heavier 7.62x51mm NATO round which gives it better killing power and accuracy over long ranges. Used by all three Indian Special Forces as standard Designated Marksman Rifle it features extreme reliability to extend the firepower and accuracy of the rifle squad by putting in rounds with extreme accuracy over longer ranges.
7. PSG-1 Sniper Rifle :
The PSG-1 Sniper Rifle developed by German H&K has gained a legendary status of being used by multiple SWAT and Counter-terrorism units around the world. Firing a heavy and deadly 7.62x51mm round it is used by MARCOS , NSG and many other SWAT units like OCTOPUS and Greyhounds in India. With mach-grade rounds it features an accuracy of 1 MOA ( Minute of angle ) which makes it a perfect weapon to be used in urban scenario.
8. Glock-Series of Pistols :
Glock Pistols have become the mainstay of Indian Special Forces units apart from Pistol 9mm 1A ( License produced Browning ) and Beretta 92 pistols. Used by Para SF , MARCOS , NSG and Garuds these semi-automatic polymer framed pistols best known for their accuracy , reliability and light-weight have outperformed many pistols during trials. Indian Special Forces units have been known to use Glock 17 , 19 and 26 pistols in active use.
9. Negev Light Machine Gun :
This high-firepower and versatile Light Machine Gun has become the mainstay of MARCOS , SFF and Garuds as primary Squad Automatic Weapon. Firing a 5.56x45mm round it can fire more than 700 rounds per minute upto a range of 600 – 1000 metres. The fire control selector switch , box-fed magazine , removable bipod for additional accuracy makes it a true Special Forces weapon.
10. Pika General Purpose Machine Gun :
This Soviet-origin General Purpose Machine Gun has been known for its hitting power and extreme reliability. Firing a 7.62x54mmR round it exhibits a reliability on par with AK-47 and are suited for a variety of roles like as helicopter-gunner , vehicle mounted Machine Gun and more. Para SF uses Russsian PK and Romanian PKM Machine Gun along with captured Pikas ( Norinco Type 80 ) from terrorists in Kashmir. SFF is the only known force apart from Para SF to use Pika GPMG.
11. SVD Dragunov :
SVD has been one of the greatest and most used sniper rifles ever. Used in a plethora of conflicts across the world, it has just demonstrated its reliability, killing power and its dead-end accuracy. It is still hailed as one of the best sniper rifles produced till date and its accuracy is unmatched even for many modern-day western sniper rifles of comparable role. It has been remarked to engage targets upto 1000 metres by expert snipers which shows how deadly and accurate it is. Para SF , MARCOS and SFF uses it in bulk for marksmanship to medium range sniping.