The AK-203 Kalashnikov assault rifle retains the legendary reliability of the AK design, is equipped with a unified sight mounting system, and has improved ergonomics (Image courtesy: Kalashnikov Group)
The Indian Army will soon receive the first delivery of the latest AK-203 series of the iconic Kalashnikov assault rifles as Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRPL) is all set to roll out the first batch of advanced weapons from its Korwa Ordnance Factory in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi.
Driving forward the military-technical cooperation between Delhi and Moscow under the ‘Make in India, Make for World’ initiative, IRRPL is a joint venture of the Indian Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) along with Kalashnikov and Rosoboronexport from the Russian state-owned technology conglomerate Rostec to produce over 6,00,000 AK-203 assault rifles.
India will thus become the first country to start producing the AK-200-series assault rifles of the world-famous brand, en route to becoming a leading AK 203 assault rifle manufacturer in the future.
Citing the “strong partnership” between the two countries, Rostec Director General Sergey Chemezov announced Tuesday that with the launch of series production of Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles, high-quality modern arms will begin to enter service with India’s defence and law enforcement agencies.
“The model combines excellent ergonomics, adaptability to different shooters and high performance characteristics, it is one of the best assault rifles in the world,” said Chemezov while asserting that the joint venture plans to ensure 100% localization of the production of AK-203 rifles in India.
In the future, he stated, the company may also increase output and upgrade its production facilities to manufacture advanced rifles based on the Kalashnikov assault rifle platform.
Alexander Mikheev, Director General of Rosoboronexport, revealed that Korwa Ordnance Factory has produced the first batch of 7.62 mm Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles and the beginning of deliveries to the Indian Army is expected soon.
“At the same time, the factory’s capacity makes it possible to fully equip the personnel of other law enforcement agencies in India with AK-203 assault rifles, which, due to their high adaptability, are suitable for various operators. In addition, the joint venture will be able to export its products to third countries,” he said.
The 7.62 mm AK-203 Kalashnikov assault rifle chambered for 7.62×39 mm retains the legendary reliability of the AK design, is equipped with a unified sight mounting system, and has improved ergonomics.
Machine guns of this series have improved ergonomics due to a folding telescopic buttstock, an upgraded translator-fuse, a new pistol grip, a flash hider, and a forearm with Picatinny rails.
According to the Kalashnikov group, a key feature of the ‘200’ series assault rifles is the ability to install modern sighting systems on the Picatinny rail while maintaining the high reliability of automation.
Russia ranks first in the field of military-technical cooperation between India and foreign countries, acquiring more than 60% of military and technical equipment, including the procurement of spare parts and components for licensed production of weapons and military equipment.
Conditions for servicing the supplied arms and equipment in India are currently being created along with the modernisation of Soviet and Russian-made Indian weapons and equipment. A joint production of equipment and weapons for sale in the markets of third countries is also developing.
New Delhi has stressed that the partnership with Moscow has gone from simple buyer-seller relationships to collaborative research, development and production of first-class combat platforms.
From state-of-the-art S-400 air defence system to the production of the supersonic cruise missile BrahMos (jointly developed by India’s DRDO and NPOM of Russia), the licensed production in India of SU-30 aircraft, T-90 tanks, India and Russia continue to implement military-technical cooperation in several current and future projects.
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