Indo-Russian Joint Venture Begins Producing AK-203 Rifles in India
An Indo-Russian joint venture has begun producing Kalashnikov assault rifles in India.
The venture produced the first batch of the AK-203 rifles at the Korwa ordnance factory in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh.
The batch is part of a $671 million deal to produce over 700,000 rifles for the Indian armed forces.
Indian Army chief General Manoj Pande said last week that the first batch of 5,000 AK-203 rifles would be delivered to the army in March.
He added that 70,000 AK 203s would be delivered to the service within 32 months of the contract.
The rifles would include 5 to 70 percent indigenous content, according to the army chief.
However, the rest of the guns will be completely domestic, with deliveries expected over a period of 10 years.
‘Advanced Rifles’ in Future
The director general of Rosoboronexport Alexander Mikheev said that the factory’s capacity allows it to deliver the rifles to India’s other law enforcement forces and for export.
He added that the factory could see increased output in the future, including upgraded production facilities to produce “advanced rifles based on the Kalashnikov assault rifle platform.”
Kalashnikov and Rosoboronexport are the Russian constituents of the Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited, possessing 42 percent and 7.5 percent stakes, respectively.
The government-owned Indian Ordnance Factory Board owns 50.5 percent stakes in the venture.