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India launches search for cornershot guns

by Staff Writers
New Delhi (UPI) Jan 7, 2009
The Indian army is on a hunt for a substantial number of firearms that shoot around corners, according to a Defense Department request for information.

The Ministry of Defense wants interested original equipment manufacturers to submit proposals by Jan. 30 and to include some details of a transfer of technology for making the weapons in India.

The weapons, often called cornershot guns, must also have an accuracy to "engage targets effectively" of just over 200 yards and be capable of day-night vision for use with the army's counter-terrorist operations.

The move has come about because of the Nov. 26, 2008, terror attacks on hotels, train stations and other buildings in central Mumbai, killing 173 people. During the so-called 26/11 attack, the military was involved in a lot of room-to-room fighting in the large Oberoi Hotel, according to a report in the Times of India newspaper.

The weapons are essentially an adaptor for pistols and rifles that is hinged in the center. It can be bent up to 60 degrees, allowing the shooter to see a direct line of fire around a corner, thanks to a small side-mounted video camera. The shooter has no need to show himself to the enemy.

Such weapons will help Indian army special forces like the Para-SF units to effectively tackle terrorists in urban warfare scenarios, said the Times of India article.

"Such close-quarter combat weapons will help our commandos to observe and engage targets from behind a corner, for instance, while storming a building or a room, without exposing themselves to direct fire from terrorists,'' an army officer is quoted as saying. "American, Israeli and a few other forces already use such weapons."

The army's RFI comes after the country's elite counter-terror force, the National Security Guards, launched a similar RFI, as well as for wall-surveillance radars to monitor a situation inside a room without actually entering it.

"Such new-generation equipment is very effective in neutralizing terrorists in situations like 26/11, where commandos had to clear the five-star hotels in room-to-room flushing out operations,'' said the officer.

The RFI gave no details of numbers that the army would purchase. However, the officer noted that the transfer of technology to manufacture them indigenously was being sought since "a large quantity'' was required.

Cornershot weapons were first designed around 2000 specifically for SWAT teams and special forces. Several manufacturers now produce cornershot weapons, including Miami company Corner Shot, which is a registered trade mark. Corner Shot was founded by two former senior officers from elite units of the Israeli military together with U.S. investors, according to its Web site.

Corner Shot's assault pistol rifle version is a 5.56mm caliber capable of accurately engaging targets up to more than 250 yards. It fires all 5.56mm ammunition types, including special, non-lethal ammunition, using standard M16/M4 magazines or specialized, shortened magazines.

The APR 5.56 can also be detached from the Corner Shot frame and, through a quick connection to a purpose-designed stock, be used as an assault pistol rifle.

A similar weapon is the POF Eye, developed in Pakistan by Pakistan Ordnance Factories.

China has developed the HD66, thought by some experts to be basically a replica of the Corner Shot weapon. One blogger suggested it is a QSZ92 pistol mounted on the end of a submachine gun.

Iran, too, has produced a cornershot gun that looks similar to the Corner Shot, according to information and pictures on The Firearm Blog.

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