The IWI US Tavor X95 wonShooting Illustrated’s prestigious 2017 Rifle of the Year Golden Bullseye Award, and now an international manufacturing partnership promises that licensed clones produced in India—at the country’s first privately owned small arms plant—will exhibit the same virtues that made it rise above this year’s competition.
India’s Punj Lloyd—a diversified conglomerate—and Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) inaugurated the facility this week in Malanpur, Madhya Pradesh. The ceremony attracted a variety of dignitaries, including Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who presided, Minister of Rural Development Panchayati Raj and personnel from the Indian armed forces, state police, coastguard, paramilitary and the media. The company, Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems (PLR), will be manufacturing small arms, including the X95, for the Indian Defence Forces and for export.
“This is the first opportunity for the country to get its own ‘Made in India’ Small Arms,” Punj Lloyd Chairman Atul Punj said, putting the groundbreaking effort in perspective. “The need of the hour is to replace the country’s defense weapons with sophisticated and high-precision products and Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems is the answer.
These are tried and tested battle-proven products already being used within the country. It is the first time in India that we are coming together with the complete technology to manufacture these products as ‘Made in India’.”
"We are indeed fortunate to have in Punj Lloyd a reliable and knowledgeable partner,” said Samy Katsav, Chairman of SK Group, the parent company of IWI. “Through this collaboration, we offer the combination of battle proven combat technology of IWI and the proficiency of a renowned Indian business partner. I am extremely upbeat about the opportunities in the sector and confident of contributing to the Make in India program.”
IWI’s famed designs are no stranger to international demand. It also has license agreements for Galil production in Vietnam and Columbia.