Skip to main content

AK-203 to become organic assault rifle of Indian armed forces.

| 2020

As announced by Army Recognition last 7th January, the Kalashnikov AK-203 7.62 mm assault rifle will become a standard firearm of the Indian military, according to local sources.

Happy new year 2020 and our best wishes for friends readers customers and family 925 001
Kalashnikov AK-203 in Russian basic configuration that includes a fixed buttstock and Picatinny rail, unlike the forthcoming Indian standard model(Picture source: Kalashnikov)

At the recent DefExpo 2020 defense exhibition that took place in Lucknow, India, major-general Sengar, CEO of the Russian-Indian joint venture Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL), announced that all Indian Armed Forces’ services and branches would get the AK-203: "We are planning to sign an initial contract [for the delivery of the AK-203] before the end of the year (…) The rifle will be issued to the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force, the Indian Navy, and law enforcement agencies. The ageing Kalashnikov-family assault rifles will not be replaced with new firearms," said Sengar. According to him, the IRRPL will produce the AK-203 at an annual rate of 75,000 assault rifles. "The production of the AK-203 will last for ten years," the general noted.

The first AK-203 will be delivered in the baseline configuration, with IRRPL not planning to conduct any update of the basic configuration: "The production of the AK-203-based carbine – the AK-204 – is not planned”, the general added.

The AK-203 as intended for the Indian Armed Forces features some differences compared to the basic Russian assault rifle: the Indian AK-203 has received a folding buttstock (like that integrated with the AK-74M or AK-103 firearms), upper handguard without a Picatinny rail, and a standard plastic 30-round magazine with no clear window. At the same time, the assault rifle has retained its distinctive slotted muzzle brake. A cleaning rod has been mounted under the weapon’s barrel, in the AK-74M/AK-103 fashion.

According to the IRRPL, the Indian AK-203 is chambered for 7.62x39mm cartridge that is also known as M43. The assault rifle has a firing range of 800 m and weighs 3.8 kg without accessories and with empty magazine. The Indian AK-203 features a firing rate of 700 rounds per minute and a muzzle velocity of 715 m/s. The assault rifle is fitted with a 415mm barrel and is 943/704 mm long (with unfolded/folded buttstock, respectively).

IRRPL was established by Russia’s JSC Rosoboronexport (a subsidiary of state corporation Rostec), JSC Kalashnikov Group (a subsidiary of Rostec) and India’s Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) in February 2019. The JV functions under the Department of Defence Production (DPP) of the Indian Ministry of Defense. India plans to produce some 750,000 AK-203 assault rifles within 10 years.

At the DefExpo 2020, Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSVTS) Vladimir Drozhzhov said that the level of AK-203 manufacturing localization would reach 100% at the early stage of production.

The Indian Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies are now operating a mixture of various Kalashnikov-type firearms, primarily, Bulgarian-made. The OFB also produces a local copy of the Kalashnikov AKM 7.62 mm assault rifle, which is designated Ghataak that comes in two configuration: linear (with fixed buttstock) and compact (with folding buttstock).

© Copyright 2020 TASS / Army Recognition Group SPRL. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Copyright © 2019 - 2024 Army Recognition | Webdesign by Zzam