About the author

Rear Admiral Sudarshan Y. Shrikhande , AVSM, IN (Retd)

Rear Admiral Sudarshan Y. Shrikhande , AVSM, IN (Retd)

RADM Sudarshan Shrikhande, commissioned July 1980; served in several ships before specialising in ASW & Sonar Weapon Engg from the Soviet Naval War College (1985-88). There upon, he was ASWO & Operations Officer in INS Ranvir for four years.

Read More About: Rear Admiral Sudarshan Y. Shrikhande , AVSM, IN (Retd)


  1. 1

    Manish singh

    Well written article sir. I believe the decision to lower the caliber was also taken first as NATO was moving to 5.56 and what is good for them is good enough for us mentality, secondly we had IPKF and domestic insurgency during the 90’s where the advantage of 5.56 with lower recoil and automatic fire was felt.

  2. 2
    Sudarshan Shrikhande

    Sudarshan Shrikhande

    Thank you for the background. While in some ways the 7.62mm will be a good choice, the 5.56 did most of the work well and is still not a bad choice in some ways. What i have surmised is that knowledge of bullets and rifle technologies in combination has not been as good as it should have been. Thus, calibre as a quantification (ie 5.56 versus 7.62) becomes an oversimplified quantitative figure rather than a qualitative issue. Today, with greater detecting, and aiming devices available, the first shot kill probability of 7.62 reduces the subsequent shots’ errors due to recoil. Yet, the weight of bullets, a soldier’s ammo carrying capacity remain factors that just cannot be wished away. What is more serious is that incorrect logic, “conclusions” based on scanty assessments, etc set us back in acquisition, and especially indigenisation. I would also say that the distinction between what an infantry man does in CI/ CT and more conventional conflicts with a conventional soldier at the other end has much to do with tactics, numbers, persistence, other elements of battle-field support as well rather than the 5.56 versus 7.62 debate. This illogic perhaps was the prime contributor to the strange move to have a multi-calibre rifle with interchangeable barrels, etc. I saw your comment today, hence this delayed response. I only hope that as the Army now moves to re-doing the small arms process, solid logic find place in the GSQRs.

  3. 3


    Old article, but you make enough good points considering the clamor for a larger calibre round than the 5.56. The 7.62x51mm NATO round that is being proposed is probably not the best round to adopt for assault rifles, considering the limited US experience with the round with the SCAR H in Afghanistan.

    The SCAR H was found to really too light(yes lighter is always better in some cases) of a platform to used as stable and effective platform as a designated marksmanship rifle, while the caliber offered limited utility over the 5.56 in the assault role. There were real drawbacks too in regards to using the round in shorter barrels in regards to noise and recoil.


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