AK-203 rifles to S-400 air defence system: What to expect from power-packed India-Russia summit

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Dec 06, 2021, 12:30 PM(IST)

S-400 air defence system and AK–203 rifles. Photograph:( Twitter )

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The visit's major highlight will be the completion of the AK-203 assault weapon agreement, which will be manufactured in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh.

India and Russia are set to finalise deals in defence, trade, space, technology, and energy, which are likely to be inked on Monday at the power-packed annual meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin.

During Putin's visit to India, the two nations will also sign a defence agreement for over Rs 51 billion.

The visit's major highlight will be the completion of the AK-203 assault weapon agreement, which will be manufactured in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh.

Within seven years of signing the deal, the India-Russia joint venture business would have completed the knowledge transfer for the manufacturing of over 500,000 guns. 

Also read | Putin visit: Russian President to reach New Delhi today for India-Russia summit

AK-203: Rifles with range over 3 football fields to be made 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 have 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. 

Watch | Putin-Modi bilateral meet today, defence ties to be discussed

The S-400 Triumf Air Defense System

According to news agency ANI, during his one-day visit, President Putin will also present Prime Minister Modi with a mockup of the S-400 air defence system as a sign of the missile system's delivery to India.

In October 2018, New Delhi and Moscow agreed on the purchase of five S-400 air defence missile systems for $5 billion.

India paid Russia the first instalment of roughly $800 million for the missile system in 2019. 

According to the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, the S-400 Triumf, also known as the SA-21 Growler in NATO, is a mobile surface-to-air missile system that is "capable of engaging aircraft, UAVs, cruise missiles, and has a terminal ballistic missile defence capability" (CSIS).

The development of this upgraded missile system is claimed to have begun in 1993, almost immediately after the Soviet Union's collapse, and it largely draws from the older S-300 missile defence system in areas such as missile storage containers, launchers, and radars.

The S-400 is claimed to have started testing in late 1999 or early 2000, with the first guns going into service in 2007.

(With inputs from agencies)

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