Russia and India have signed a contract for the delivery of more than 600,000 7.62 mm AK-203 assault rifles that will be produced in India for the needs of the Ministry of Defense in New Delhi.
Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) is opening a new to a new page in Russian-Indian military-technical cooperation, Kalashnikov CEO Vladimir Lepin said.
Russian and Indian specialists have been doing large-scale preparatory work for three years to optimize the price and technological parameters of the project. Everything is ready to start production of AK-203 assault rifles in the city of Korwa in the coming months.
Thanks to this agreement India will gain expertise in small arms production with the help of Russian partners.
Russia is ready to organize local production of the AK-203 advanced assault rifle, one of the most advanced automatic weapons set up by Kalashnikov.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced plans in early March 2019 to set up an Indo-Russian joint venture to produce Kalashnikov assault rifles in the country. The IRRPL joint venture to produce AK-203 assault rifles has been organized at an industrial plant in Korwa town of Amethi district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Therefore, India may become the first foreign country to produce Kalashnikov assault rifles of the latest 200th series.
Incidentally, New Delhi will purchase an initial batch of 70,000 AK-203s from Kalashnikov to meet its immediate needs, pending the availability of Indian-made examples.
The AK-203 assault rifle is calibrated 7.62×39 mm, with a rate of fire of 700 rounds per minute, with a useful range of up to 800 meters depending on the type of sights used, weighing 3.8 kg.
The AK-203, equipped with a folding/telescopic stock, employs a removable 30-round magazine and has Picatinny rails for various types of sights; a 40mm caliber grenade launcher is applicable.
Previously, the Indian Ministry of Defense had purchased under emergency procedure directly from Russia a considerable number of AK-103 assault rifles intended to rearm the Indian Army.
The AK-103 is a modified version of the AK-74M; it employs 7.62×39 mm caliber ammunition and has an indirect gas-operated system with a long-stroke piston.