Small Arms Factory (SAF) Kanpur is a premier weapons production unit of the Ministry of Defence under the control of Director General Ordnance Factories Kolkata. SAF was built in the year 1942 as a part of the strategic plan to have a shadow of Rifle Factory Ishapore at Kanpur as a sequel to threat on the eastern border during World war-II. The factory was then named as Transplantation Project-1. As the World War-II came to an end, the facilities were engaged in repair of Aero-engines of Royal Air Force.
After independence, the factory was renamed as Small Arms Factory in the year 1949. The first weapon rolling out from the factory was the famous 0.303" Bren Gun, which was later converted to 7.62mm Light Machine Gun in the year 1964. In the year 1963, production of 9mm Carbine, famous for its utility in Close Combat, was started which continues to this day. Other notable weapons produced by the factory are 2-Inch Mortar in 1966 and its new version 51mm Mortar in 1984. Production of Medium Machine Gun MAG 7.62mm in collaboration with M/s FN of Belgium was started in 1971 and continues till date. 32 Bore Revolver is another prestigious product of SAF having its mark in the Civil Trade market. In this connection recently ANMOL REVOLVER with long barrel has been launched for civil customers.
The factory entered an era of modern weapon production by taking up the production of INSAS family of weapons which were jointly developed with DRDO/ARDE during the year 1996. Two variants of this family i.e. LMG 5.56mm & Rifle 5.56mm are under current production at SAF. Meanwhile, exceptional and tremendous efforts are being made for development of new sophisticated Small Arms. Assault Rifle 7.62mm was developed in the year 2001. Bulk lot of this weapon was produced and supplied to MHA to meet their counter Insurgency requirements. Another in house R&D achievement is development of Carbine 5.56mm to meet the futuristic needs of Army and Police Forces.