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India to get 750,000 new AK-203 assault rifles in new deal

AK-203 is 7.62x39mm assault rifle. (Titianis Rex/Wikimedia Commons)
August 18, 2021

The Indian Army has cleared a stuck AK-203 assault rifle deal in which India will produce 750,000 AK-203 assault rifles locally with complete Transfer of Technology (TOT) from Kalashnikov Co. under Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) partnership at a facility in Korwa, Amethi.

India will be subject to complete absorption of TOT of these latest assault rifles, a move that will help India boost rifle production in-country at a greater magnitude and will help the Indian Army gain significant modern firearms at their will. Under the agreement, the cost of the rifle will come down, since labor hours in India are cheaper than in Russian facilities.

The entire cost of the deal is going to be about Rs 5,125 crore. The decision was made by the Ministry of Defense during the eve of India’s Independence Day on August 15, and will be a landmark event and a major breakthrough, not just for the Army but also for the central police forces in the country. AK rifles are the most commonly-accustomed rifle around the world, with a modernized variant, heavily improved design and higher caliber of 7.62mm. Through this deal, India will meet the needs for service rifles demand from all forces, including the state police forces.

After over a year of negotiation, India and Russia have agreed to the terms for the manufacture of the AK-203 assault rifle in the Amethi facility of Uttar Pradesh. With both battle rifles, India aims to fulfill the long-awaited process of replacing old INSAS rifles manufactured by the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).

AK203 is a battle assault Rifle with a 7.62mm chambered caliber, designed by Kalashnikov Co. According to designers, the advanced technical solutions improved fire accuracy and barrel lifespan considerably. With an 800-meter firing range and 30 bullet magazine capacity, AK-203 rifles feature a modern design exterior, such as folding and adjustable buttstock, a windowed and rifled magazine, and a pistol grip. A variety of ammunition types in 7.62mm allows the operator to be combat-ready and efficient while accomplishing any mission, suited in all weather conditions.