India, Russia sign pact for AK-203 rifles, renew military cooperation for 10-years 

WION Web Team
NEW DELHIUpdated: Dec 06, 2021, 02:52 PM IST
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister of India Dr S Jaishankar. Photograph:(Twitter)

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The two nations also extended their military-technical cooperation agreement for the years 2021-31. 

India and Russia signed a Rs 51 billion contract on Monday for the joint manufacturing of over 500,000 AK-203 assault rifles at a factory in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi region.

A bilateral meeting between defence minister Rajnath Singh and his Russian colleague Sergey Shoigu sealed the agreement. 

According to authorities, the two nations also extended their military-technical cooperation agreement for the years 2021-31. 

"India deeply appreciates Russia’s strong support for India. We hope that our cooperation will bring peace, prosperity and stability to the entire region. Glad that a number of agreements/contracts/protocols were signed pertaining to small arms and military cooperation," Rajnath Singh tweeted on Monday.

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The news came as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin set to meet for their annual meeting this evening. 

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AK-203: Rifles with a range of more than three football fields to be manufactured in Uttar Pradesh

The centre has given its approval for a gun manufacturing factory in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, to produce over five lakh high-powered AK-203 rifles.

The contemporary AK-203 will be manufactured in collaboration with Russia, which produced the original AK-47.

This assault rifle uses the significantly bigger 7.62 mm ammunition, which has superior penetrating force, whereas comparable guns use the smaller 5.56 mm rounds, which have less stopping power.

The contemporary version of the Russian-origin rifle is lightweight and sturdy, with an effective range of 300 metres, or more than three football fields.

(With inputs from agencies)