India to produce 670,000 AK-203 assault rifles under license
The Russian-Indian joint venture (JV) Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) located in Amethi (Uttar Pradesh, India) will produce 670,000 Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles for the Indian military, according to the Indian newspaper Economic Times.
Kalashnikov AK-204 and AK-203 (Picture source: Army Recognition)
"The rifle factory at Amethi will soon be operationalized, with the IRRPL JV to manufacture the Kalashnikov AK-203 [assault] rifles. A record [total of] 670,000 Kalashnikovs will be manufactured, with the army clearing the technical gates and commercial bid set to be sealed," said the Economic Times. The IRRPL JV was inaugurated on March 3 by India’s then-acting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
According to the media outlet, the initial order intended for the Indian Army could be extended to 750,000 firearms. India is reported to receive the complete technology of the AK-203 manufacturing. "To achieve the technology transfer, it is planned that after the first one lakh [100,000] rifles, all components of the weapon system will be produced in India," said the Economic Times, adding that the AK-203 unit cost will reach some USD 1,000.
According to the Kalashnikov Group (a subsidiary of the state corporation Rostec), the AK-203 weighs 4.1 kg, has a firing a range of 800 m, and is fed by a magazine carrying 30 7.62x39 mm cartridges. The firearm is fitted with modern interfaces for sighting systems and accessories.
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