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India launches production of Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles.

| 2023

The Russian-Indian joint venture launched the production of AK-203 Kalashnikov assault rifles. Deliveries to the Indian army will begin in the near future, Rosoboronexport arms trader said.
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Russian-made Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifle (Picture source: Army Recognition)

“Korwa Ordnance Factory in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, has produced the first batch of 7.62 mm Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles. The beginning of deliveries to the Indian Army is expected soon. At the same time, the factory’s capacity makes it possible to fully equip the personnel of other law enforcement agencies in India with AK-203 assault rifles, which, due to their high adaptability, are suitable for various operators. In addition, the joint venture will be able to export its products to third countries,” Rosoboronexport CEO Alexander Mikheev said.

According to the company, “the joint venture plans to ensure 100% localization of the production of AK-203 rifles in India. In the future, the company may also increase output and upgrade its production facilities to manufacture advanced rifles based on the Kalashnikov assault rifle platform.”

“ With the launch of serial production of Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles, high-quality, convenient and modern small arms will begin to enter service with India’s defense and law enforcement agencies. The model combines excellent ergonomics, adaptability to different shooters and high-performance characteristics, it is one of the best assault rifles in the world,” General Director of Rostec Sergey Chemezov said.

Rosoboronexport noted that the AK-200-series assault rifles have retained all its traditional advantages, “reliability, durability and ease of maintenance. At the same time, they fully meet the latest requirements for firearms in the world in terms of ergonomics and the ability to mount high-tech additional equipment.”

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the creation of a joint Indian-Russian venture for the production of Kalashnikov rifles in March 2019. The joint venture Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) for producing the AK-203 rifle was set up near the city of Korwa, in Uttar Pradesh.

CEO of Rosoboronexport Alexander Mikheyev said in December 2021 that Russia was ready to arrange full-scale production of 7.62mm AK-203 assault rifles in India within two-three years. According to him, the first batch of AK-203 assault rifles would be produced in India with a phased increase in the extent of localization and then full-scale production will begin.

Under the contract, more than 600,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles will be delivered to Indian uniformed agencies. Thus, India becomes the first foreign country to produce the AK-203 assault rifle.

A version of the AK-203 assault rifle designed for the Indian Armed Forces was unveiled at the DefExpo India 2020 exhibition. Unlike its predecessor, the AK-203 has been fitted with a Magpul-type telescopic buttstock and a more comfortable pistol grip. The reinforced upper receiver and handguard carry Picatinny rails, which are intended for the installation of various sighting systems. The handguard also features MIL-STD-1913 rails for tactical grips, bipods, weapon flashlights or laser pointers. The weapon can be fitted with the 40mm GP-34 under-barrel grenade launcher.

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