Moscow: Production of Russia’s new Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles in India may be launched before year-end, a senior Russian official has said, as per media reports.
The weapon will be manufactured at a plant in Korwa in Uttar Pradesh, according to Alexander Mikheev, the head of Rosoboronexport, the Russian state agency for international arms trade, RT reported.
“We plan 100 pert cent localisation of the production of the legendary Russian assault rifles in India,” the agency quoted its chief as saying in a statement issued on Monday.
“In the future, the joint enterprise may ramp up capacity and upgrade to manufacture more advanced models based on the Kalashnikov platform.”
The AK-203 is part of the ‘Series 200’ of Kalashnikov’s small arms, which includes several models using various popular round calibers and barrel lengths. The series features tuning options such as adjustable stocks and the Picatinny rail and other improvements. The AK-203 assault rifle is designed for the 7.62x39mm round.
Rosoboronexport gave the update on the joint enterprise with India ahead of the Defexpo India 2022 arms show, which is scheduled for this week. Russia and India have been closely cooperating in defense for decades and have previously launched other joint ventures for making arms in India, RT reported.
The company participates in the exhibition as a co-founder of Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited, a Russian-Indian joint venture established to produce Kalashnikov assault rifles in India.
“Rosoboronexport has the world’s largest portfolio of completed, on-going and future defense production projects in India. The joint venture Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited, in which Rosoboronexport and the Kalashnikov Concern participate from the Russian side, is fully in line with the Government’s Make in India initiative and Defense Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020 rules,” said Rosoboronexport Director General Mikheev.
“The Korwa Ordnance Factory is ready to start manufacturing Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles by the end of 2022. Our plans include 100 per cent localisation of the production of legendary Russian assault rifles in India. In addition, in the future, the joint venture may increase production and modernize production facilities to manufacture advanced rifles based on the Kalashnikov assault rifle platform.”
During the exhibition, Rosoboronexport will discuss with the Indian side the production and supply of AK-203 for the armed forces and other law enforcement agencies of the country. In addition, the company will present a wide range of additional modern equipment designed both for customizing the assault rifle itself and for equipping personnel.
“We also look forward to fruitful meetings and negotiations with partners on the entire range of issues related to military-technical cooperation between Russia and India. Rosoboronexport is ready to discuss mutually beneficial projects and talk about its exclusive proposals on joint work complying with the terms of ToT (transfer of technology) imposed by the Indian side,” Mikheev added.