The government said, light machine guns will be acquired through a "Fast Track Procedure".
The defense ministry has made a decision to go in for an inter-governmental contract for weapons that are required immediately while the rest of the requirement would be fulfilled under the "Make in India" initiative that will see an Indian firm partnering with a global counterpart to manufacture the weapons locally.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)-the highest body for military acquisition-headed by the defence minister, accorded approval to capital acquisition proposals for assault rifles, light machine guns and sniper rifles.
The DAC Tuesday also accorded approval for procurement of 7.4 lakh Assault Rifles for the armed forces.
In a statement, the ministry said "essential quantity" of light machine guns (LMGs) will be through the "fast track" route at an estimated cost of Rs 1,819 crore, primarily to meet the operational requirement of the border troops. They will, however, follow designs from foreign manufacturers.
The DAC also gave its nod to the procurement of 5,719 sniper rifles for the army and the air force at an estimated cost of Rs 982 crore.
Earlier the army expressed reservations on the assault rifle being developed by the Ordnance Factory Board.
"Since a state-of-the-art assault rifle will cost about Rs 200,000 each in the global market, let us issue these only to frontline infantry soldiers who confront the enemy armed only with their rifles", army chief, General Bipin Rawat had told Business Standard in November. Soldiers have been using AK-47 and indigenous INSAS rifles since 1988.
In the wake of two back to back terror strikes at Indian army camps, the country's defense ministry has chose to shore up the infantry's weapons stock.
"In the last one month, to equip the soldiers on the border with modern and more effective equipment, the DAC has fast-tracked procurement of the three main personal weapons â€" rifles, carbines and LMGs", the MoD stated.
Another proposal to enhance the anti-submarine warfare capabilities of Indian Navy got approval in the DAC. The Mareech ATDS system has been designed by Defence Research and Development Organisation, officials said. The systems will be produced by Bharat Electronics Ltd., Bengaluru, at an estimated cost of ₹850 crore.