The MARCOS, or Marine Commandos, are the elite special forces unit of the Indian Navy. Officially known as the Marine Commando Force (MCF), they carry out special operations in India’s maritime domain.
The MARCOS undergoes specialized training to handle various situations, including counter-terrorism, underwater missions, and anti-piracy operations. They possess the ability to operate in diverse environments, including sea, air, and land.
The Indian Marine Special Forces (IMSF) established the MARCOS in 1985, and two years later, it was renamed the Marine Commando Force (MCF). The unit’s motto is “The Few, The Fearless.”
MARCOS are renowned for their extensive experience and professionalism in the international arena. They frequently undertake specialized maritime operations in Jammu and Kashmir, specifically through the Jhelum River and Wular Lake, a freshwater lake, where they also conduct counter-insurgency operations.
Certain MARCOS units are deployed in the tri-services Armed Forces Special Operations Division. According to available data, as of 2012, MARCOS had a strength of 2,000 personnel. Noteworthy operations conducted by MARCOS include Operation Zabardust, Operation Tasha, Operation Pawan, Operation Cactus, Operation Black Tornado, and many more.
Despite being a part of the Indian naval forces, MARCOS engage in operations beyond their domain, taking on various responsibilities over time. Their fundamental duties include:
- Clandestine operations inside hostile territory, including diving operations and special raids.
- Providing support to amphibious operations.
- Conducting special surveillance and amphibious reconnaissance operations.
- Executing hostage rescue operations.
- Engaging in counter-terrorism operations.
- Undertaking asymmetric warfare.
- Contributing to foreign internal defense.
- Performing direct action missions.
Now that we have covered some basic information about the MARCOS or Marine Commandos and their duties let’s shift our focus to their weaponry. As we all know, aside from courage, bravery, and strength, well-equipped soldiers require good weapons to excel in army operations, warfare, and defense.
The top 5 lethal weapons used by the MARCOS
1. APS (Avatomat Podvodny Spetsialny) – Assault Rifle
The APS (Avatomat Podvodny Spetsialny) is an underwater assault rifle originally designed and developed by the Soviet Union in 1975 to counter the threats posed by underwater enemies. During the Cold War between the USSR and the United States in the 1970s, the rising threat of attacks from frogmen in the USSR naval bases necessitated the development of an effective underwater weapon.
The AK-47, one of the most lethal weapons, was unsuitable for underwater use. To overcome this challenge, the APS underwater assault rifle was introduced, becoming a major weapon for the Soviet frogmen.
2. Carl-Gustav M3 (M1948) – Multirole, Shoulder-Fired Recoilless Rifle
The Carl-Gustav recoilless rifle designated the Granatgevär m/48 in Swedish service, is an 84-mm man-portable reusable anti-tank weapon.
Developed by the Swedish armaments firm Carl Gustaf Stads Gevärsfaktori, this rifle has proven effective and remains widely used by many armies worldwide, including the MARCOS commandos.
Its versatility and ability to accommodate a wide range of ammunition make it a lightweight and cost-effective option suitable for various roles. The weapon requires a two-man crew, one carrying and firing it while the other is the loader.
3. IWI Tavor TAR-21 – Bullpup
The IWI Tavor TAR-21 stands as an assault rifle of Israeli origin, designed in a bullpup configuration and chambered in the 5.56×45mm NATO caliber. It boasts a selective fire system, allowing users to switch between semi-automatic and full-automatic firing modes.
Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) takes credit for the design and production of the Tavor TAR-21, which has emerged as a crucial asset for the MARCOS. Utilizing a long-stroke piston system reminiscent of the M1 Garand and AK-47, the Tavor is renowned for its unwavering reliability, impressive durability, simplistic design, and ease of maintenance, even in adverse or battlefield environments. In December 2010, the MARCOS received a delivery of over 500 Tavor bullpup assault rifles and 30 Galil sniper rifles, bolstering their arsenal significantly.
4. Heckler & Koch MP5 – Submachine Gun
The Heckler & Koch MP5 emerges as a submachine gun chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum, originally developed in the 1960s by a team of engineers from the renowned German small arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch GmbH (H&K).
Boasting a diverse range of more than 100 variants and clones, the MP5 has found extensive usage in 40 nations worldwide, serving numerous military, law enforcement, intelligence, and security organizations.
It is the chosen weapon for MARCOS and various SWAT/HRT Teams throughout India, fulfilling the requirements of close-quarters combat (CQB) and security operations.
The MP5 is available in several variants, including A3, A5, Compact (MP-5K), SD, and SD6, often accompanied by Zeiss and EOTech sights for enhanced targeting capabilities.
5. AK-103 Assault Rifle
Designed by Russian small arms designer Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1994, the AK-103 assault rifle offers compatibility with various sights, including night vision and telescopic sights.
This weapon weighs 7.5 lbs when loaded with a magazine and operates on a gas-operated firing action featuring a rotating bolt and detachable 30-round curved magazines. With an overall length of 37.8 inches and a barrel length of 16.3 inches, the AK-103 covers a range of 500 meters. Its compatibility with sights enables MARCOS to gain an advantage over its enemies.
In conclusion, this article explored some deadly weapons used by the courageous MARCOS, also known as Marine Commandos. With their courage, determination, and patriotism, they protect India from both internal and external threats. As we have discussed, weapons play a significant role in warfare, operations, and self-defense.
The MARCOS possess some of the best weapons in the world, contributing to their strength and capabilities. With advancing times, we can expect the inclusion of more advanced weapons and technologies, further enhancing the MARCOS’ abilities.