Kalashnikov AK-103 meets Indian COIN requirements

The Kalashnikov Group's AK-103 assault rifle meets Indian military's requirements for counter-insurgency (COIN) missions, according to the Economic Times daily.

Kalashnikov AK 103 meets Indian COIN requirements
Anton Kalashnikov AK-103 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

"The preferred caliber for COIN missions is 5.56 mm as it allows reducing collateral casualties. However, lethal effect of the AK-103 is substantially higher," the newspaper says. Economic Times adds that the AK-103 meets the Indian Army's requirements in terms of effective range of fire (approximately 500 m).

"Compared with the indigenous INSAS [Indian National Small Arms System] assault rifle, the AK-103 features a lower weight, 4 kg and 3.5 kg, respectively. The [Kalashnikov] rifle can be fitted with various sights, including infrared ones," the newspaper emphasizes. It should be mentioned that the basic INSAS rifle has a rail interface system with rather limited capabilities.
According to the Economic Times, India is planning to manufacture the AK-103 assault rifle under license.

The Kalashnikov Group (a subsidiary of the Rostec state corporation) now promotes two variants of the AK-103 assault rifle, namely, the baseline AK-103 and the upgraded AK-103M (M stands for Upgraded, Modernizirovanny). In fact, the AK-103 is a deeply modernized variant of the legendary Kalashnikov AKM assault rifle.

The baseline model has a combat weight of 4.1 kg, an overall length of 943 mm, a muzzle velocity of 715 m/s, and a rate of fire of 600 rounds per minute. The firearm is fitted with a 415 mm barrel that provides a maximum range of fire of 1,000 m.

The baseline AK-103 is not equipped with any MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny-type rails; the assault rifle features only a side-mounted attaching lug (‘dovetail’) for optical, collimator or reflex sights. The firearm is covered by corrosion-resistant coating. Like the Kalashnikov AK-74M, the AK-103 is fitted with a single-chamber muzzle brake and polymer components (including buttstock, handguard, and pistol grip).

The AK-103 can be complemented by the GP-25/30 40 mm under-barrel grenade launcher or the 6Kh5 bayonet. The organic handguard can be replaced with the one fitted with Picatinny rails, while the ‘dovetail’-type attaching lug can carry an adapter with a Picatinny rail.

The upgraded AK-103, AK-103M, has almost the same specifications. Unlike the baseline model, the AK-103M features a reinforced upper receiver with a Picatinny rail, an ergonomic pistol grip with an internal container for spare batteries for electronic sights, a Magpul-type retractable stock, and a handguard with a rail interface system. The organic muzzle brake has been replaced by a slotted (cage-type) flash suppressor. The organic cleaning rod, which is located under the barrel, has been removed, as well as the ‘dovetail’-type attaching lug for sights.

Both firearms, the AK-103 and AK-103M, are fed by 30-round box magazines made of polymer. The legacy AK/AKM metal or bakelite magazines can also be used.