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Multi-Caliber Individual Weapon System [ 2020 ]

The Indian-originated MCIWS has been cleared in late-2018 to begin serial production and succeed the in-service INSAS of the Indian Army.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/08/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The MCIWS ("Multi-Caliber Individual Weapon System") is an in-development Indian military assault rifle whose design has been headed by the Armament Research and Development Establishment with manufacture provided by the Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli (OFT), both of India. The product has been in development since 2012 and is intended as a successor to the in-service INSAS infantry assault rifle (detailed elsewhere on this site) of the Indian Army - both represent indigenous Indian developments showcasing a greater desire by the country to become more local and independent in its military requirements.

The MCIWS is modular, infantry-level automatic firearm supporting the following cartridges depending on chambering: 5.56x45 NATO, 7.62x39mm, and 6.8 Remington SPC. The 5.56mm cartridge is a ubiquitous intermediate rifle round favored by the West while the 7.62x39mm cartridge is of Soviet-era origin, highly-effective at-range. In any case, the rifle fires through a gas-operated (short stroke), rotating bolt system common to many past and present assault rifles. Rate-of-fire is 600 to 650 rounds-per-minute while muzzle velocity of the outgoing bullet reaches 2,920 feet-per-second. Effective range is out to 500 meters.

The weapon is designed for quick, "in-the-field" conversion to the various calibers available. Furthermore, the gun can be reconfigured for left- and right-handed shooters as needed, this mainly involving the reinstalling of the charging handle as well as the magazine release from one side to the other. The over-receiver section of Picatinny rail can support a broad range of after-market optics sets as well as tactical products. An Under-Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) is also being supported in production-quality forms and it its this sort of flexibility could potentially make the MCIWS an extremely attractive export product for Indian allies looking to upgrade to a more modern infantry solution.

The weapon is fed by way of a conventional, spring-loaded, transparent 30-round detachable box magazine. This is inserted rather traditionally into the feed placed ahead of the trigger unit. The overall arrangement of the firearm is highly-conventional with a shoulder stock at rear, covered forend, and exposed barrel/muzzle. The shrouded forend can support a foregrip for improved accuracy with sustained fire. Beyond optional optics set installed over the receiver, the weapon can also be sighted through a traditional iron arrangement.

Externally, the Indian MCIWS shares some visual similarities with the American M16 and the Belgian FN FNC assault rifles with additional influencing courtesy of the Soviet/Russian Kalashnikov assault rifle series to boot. The Indian military has an extensive history in operating the M16 and AK47 types.

Trials of the MCIWS prototypes were had in late-2012.


Service Year

India national flag graphic


Multi-Caliber Individual Weapon System

Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappali - India
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of India India (planned)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Automatic Function
Features a mechanical function to automate the firing action.

Overall Length
910 mm
35.83 in
Barrel Length
560 mm
22.05 in
Empty Wgt
7.50 lb
3.40 kg

Iron Front and Rear; Optional Optics.


Gas-Operated; Rotating Bolt System

Rotating Bolt
System utilizes internal mechanism to lock the breech or rear barrel assembly prior to firing.
Gas-operated system is featured, typically involving a gas cylinder and rear-driven piston directing energy to the bolt component.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


5.56x45mm NATO; 7.62x39mm Soviet; 6.8mm Remington SPC (model depdendent).

Sample Visuals**

Graphical image of a 5.56mm intermediate rifle cartridge
Graphical image of a 7.62x39mm rifle cartridge
Rounds / Feed

30-round detachable box magazine.
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
1,640 ft
(500 m | 547 yd)
Muzzle Velocity
2,750 ft/sec
(838 m/sec)

Multi-Caliber Individual Weapon System (MCIWS) - Base Project Name.

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