Russia delivers all the contracted 70,000 AK-203 to India

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
NEW DELHI Published: Jan 25, 2022, 08:05 PM(IST)

The AK-203 is the advanced version of the Kalashnikov assault rifle family, the first of which was the legendary AK-47. Photograph:( WION )

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The rest of the 600,000 will be manufactured in India's Amethi under a joint venture, the contract for which was signed on December 6, 2021.

Russia has delivered to India all the contracted 70,000 AK-203 Kalashnikov assault rifles as envisaged under a contract signed late last summer between India and Kalashnikov.

The entire delivery was made earlier this week. A source explained, "delivery was fast tracked," pointing to the short time gap between the signing of the contract and its fructification.

The Indian Ministry of Defence intends to procure 670,000 AK-203 assault rifles, and the 70,000 delivered are part of that total.

The rest of the 600,000 will be manufactured in India's Amethi under a joint venture, the contract for which was signed on December 6, 2021.

The day saw the first India-Russia 2+2 meeting at the level of foreign and defence ministers, as well as Russian President Putin's visit to the annual summit in Delhi.

The total cost of the contract is around Rs 50 billion.

As part of India's localisation of defence manufacturing, a special purpose joint venture called Indo-Russian Rifles Private Ltd (IRRPL) has been created for the production of 600,000 AK-203 in India. The Joint Venture is between India, represented by the Defence PSUs-Advanced Weapons & Equipment India Limited (AWEIL) & Munitions India Limited (MIL) and Russia, represented by Rosoboronexport (RoE) & Concern Kalashnikov (CK).

The 7.62 x 39mm calibre AK-203 rifles will replace the in-service INSAS rifles that were inducted over three decades ago. The AK-203 assault rifles have an effective range of 800 meters, are light in weight, and are seen as being as easy to use as modern assault rifles.

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