After decades of waiting, Indian Army’s assault rifle woes to end as AK-203 production begins at a joint India-Russia facility
India and Russia have started the production of AK-203 Kalashnikov assault rifles in a joint venture at its factory in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh. Army Chief General Manoj Pande had said last week the first batch of 5,000 rifles will be delivered to the Army by March. Giving details of the commencement of production by a joint venture named Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited, Alexander Mikheev, Director General of Rosoboronexport of Russia said on Tuesday.
Korwa Ordnance Factory in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, has produced the first batch of 7.62 mm Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles. 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, he stated adding that in addition, the joint venture will be able to export to third countries.
With the launch of a series production of Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles, high-quality, convenient, and modern small arms will begin to enter service with India’s defence and law enforcement agencies, said Sergey Chemezov, General Director of Rostec.
The full-scale production of the rifles is expected to be reached within 2-3 years. As per contractual terms, the first 70,000 AK-203 rifles will be produced in India with a phased increase in the extent of localization from 5% to 70%. The remaining rifles will be produced with 100% localization. In all six lakhs, rifles will be manufactured by the factory.
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