An Indo-Russian joint venture has started manufacturing Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi, a move that will lend greater firepower to the Indian armed forces. Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited plans to ensure 100 per cent localisation of the production of AK-203 rifles in India. In future, the company may also increase output and upgrade its production facilities to produce advanced rifles based on the Kalashnikov assault rifle platform, ROSTEC State Corporation said in a statement.
The joint venture, registered and located in India, whose founders on the Russian side are Rosoboronexport and Kalashnikov Concern (both subsidiaries of the ROSTEC State Corporation), has started producing Kalashnikov assault rifles, it said.
“Russia and India are linked by strong partnership relations. Military-technical cooperation between the two countries has resulted in the construction of the joint venture Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited,” the statement said.
“With the launch of 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,” it said.
The model combines “excellent ergonomics, adaptability to different shooters and high performance characteristics, it is one of the best assault rifles in the world,” Sergey Chemezov, General Director of Rostec, was quoted as saying in the statement.
“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,” said Alexander Mikheev, Director General of Rosoboronexport.
“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,” Mikheev said.
Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited fully complies with the government of India’s Made in India initiative and DAP (Defence Acquisition Procedure) 2020. Today, India is the first country to start producing the AK-200-series assault rifles of the world-famous brand, the statement by ROSTEC said.
“The AK-200-series assault rifles have retained all the advantages of the traditional AK scheme — reliability, durability and ease of maintenance. At the same time, they fully meet the latest requirements for firearms in the world in terms of ergonomics and the ability to mount high-tech additional equipment,” it added.
Russia and India continue to implement military-technical cooperation projects. Their current and future programmes are “maximally focused” on technological cooperation, including on the basis of joint ventures, in the format of licensed production and joint research and development projects, the statement said.
Rosoboronexport aims to cooperate on terms of transfer of technology put forward by the Indian side and in accordance with the Make in India initiative, it said.