Which machine guns are used by the Indian Special Forces?


Machine Guns are utilized by Special Forces Teams as a potent support weapon to lay down suppressive fire. They are capable of delivering more firepower than Assault Rifles or Carbines at a farther range and are the ultimate weapon of devastation capable of taking down multiple targets at once.

Indian Special Forces to utilize a wide range of Machine Guns imported from Israel, Romania, Bulgaria, Belgium and Czechoslovakia. They are :

A. Pika General Purpose Machine Gun

Para SF Operatives firing Pika Image Source: Shatrujeet009, Strategicfront.org

It is mostly used by Para SF and SFF in India and carries a repute for its reliability, ruggedness and weight. Its Tsarist-era 7.62x54mmR round makes it an excellent killing machine. Being lightweight at 9–10 kgs it is an excellent Machine Gun to serve as Squad Automatic Weapon in Long Range Patrols.

Para SF Operative armed with a Pika carrying his injured buddy on his back Image Source: Shatrujeet009, Strategicfront.org

Most of the Pikas used by Para SF is actually captured from terrorists in Kashmir who uses a Chinese variant named Type 80 LMG which takes features from both PK and PKM. Para SF also uses a Romanian variant of PK and scavenged Russian PK/PKM from retired tanks. Its non-disintegrating belt is an impediment in tactical roles and its rate of fire is slower than FN MAG. The field stripping and barrel change is quite easy. SFF utilizes a Bulgarian variant of Pika.

Para SF with Pika Image Source: Shatrujeet009, Strategicfront.org

B. Negev Light Machine Gun 

SFF Machine Gunner with Negev LMG Image Source: Shatrujeet009, Strategicfront.org

Negev LMG serves as the primary Squad Automatic Weapon in MARCOS, Garuds, Special Group, NSG and SFF. It has served as an excellent LMG given its ergonomics, freedom to attach different accessories, reliability and high rate of fire.

NSG Commando with Negev LMG Image Source: Shatrujeet009, Strategicfront.org

C. 1B Light Machine Guns

1B LMG has served Indian Special Forces units for well over few decades as a Squad Automatic Weapon due to its excellent reliability and hitting power. Utilized by Para SF, MARCOS, SG, NSG, it was gradually replaced though it is still used as a sentry weapon and for training purposes.

NSG Commando with 1B LMG Image Source: Shatrujeet009, Strategicfront.org

D. FN MAG variants 

Para SF with MAG LMG Image Source: Shatrujeet009, Strategicfront.org

Para SF utilizes MAG 2A1 Machine Guns on their Light Strike Vehicles and as an LMG. Its high rate of fire, good reliability, excellent accuracy and powerful 7.62mm NATO round makes it an excellent Machine Gun. Though its weight at ~12 kgs is a disadvantage, it has a softer recoil compared to Pika and can mount optics as well. It is also utilized by MARCOS as a Medium Machine Gun on their Fast Attack Boats.


Para SF with MAG LMG Image Source: Shatrujeet009, Strategicfront.org

E. UK vz.59L

It is a Czechoslovakian LMG chambered for a 7.62x54mmR round. It features excellent reliability in sustained fire due to its machined receiver. It is used by select units of Para SF and SFF in India.

Para SF Operative with vz.59L Image Source: Shatrujeet009, Strategicfront.org

F. OFB 7.62x51mm General Purpose Machine Gun/Light Machine Gun 

Image Source: Shatrujeet009, Strategicfront.org

It is an indigenously developed Machine Gun which is in service with select units like Para SF and COBRA. It is an improvement over MAG featuring Machined receiver and a MIL-STD 1913 Rails to mount various optics and scopes. Its cyclic rate is a bit on the lower side though its weight is quite lower compared to MAG and features a selector lever for semi-auto and full auto fire. Select units like COBRA also use INSAS LMG which is another indigenously developed Machine Gun.

Image Source: Shatrujeet009, Strategicfront.org

G. FN Minimi 

Image Source: Shatrujeet009, Strategicfront.org

NSG and COBRA utilize the FN MINIMI T.R (Triple rail ) Light support weapon (LSW). It is a Belgian SAW and weighs nearly ~9 kg with a fire rate of 800 rounds per minute. NSG also utilizes the M249 SAW which is an American adaption of Minimi.

Harsh B Mishra is a writer on DefenceLover, he also loves to write on Quora. You can follow him on Quora for more interesting knowledge on special forces.