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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Iconic Russian brand in the Assault rifle segment is coming to India, AK-203 will become the main Assault rifle of the Indian Army for decades to come as both countries are working out the last bit of details before domestic production of the Russian AK-203 starts in India. AK-203 will replace the Indian-made INSAS rifle after being nearly 30 years in service with the Indian Army. Kalashnikov shares insights into its Ak-203 deal in an exclusive interview with idrw.org.

Excerpts:

  1. When can we see the AK 203 assault rifle deal inked with India?

The technical and commercial bids have been submitted by the Indo-Russian joint venture IRRPLto Ministry of Defense of India. The prices, the indigenization plans, the recruitment issues, etc. have been finalized by the partners in JV. The contract prepared by the IRRPLis awaiting the MoD’s signature.We are looking forward for the Indian Government to approve the proposal and sign in the near futurethe contract with the IRRPL.

When a firm contract is inked, it will take a few months to commence the deliveries of the first AK203 assault rifles produced in India.

  • Is India allowed to export AK 203 that are Made in India?

Yes, the Made in India AK203 is to become India’s export product.

  • What is the level of transfer of technology that India will get?

The AK203 project is historically unique since India will manufacture the Kalashnikov rifle absolutely independently, with the use of the spares and materials sourced from local manufacturers.Localization will start from the very early stages, and the Russian stakeholders of IRRPL will ensure 100% technology transfer. India will get the 100% know-howof producing the world’s most recognizable assault rifle.

We are looking forward to ensure top quality production of AK-203 rifles in India while fully utilizing the solid experience of India’s defense industry. Our company is always very specific about quality control in equipment and tooling, and the Made in India rifles are to be of the same quality as the ones produced in Russia. 

The AK-203is an effective, reliable, simple and rugged individual weapon.The advantages of AK203 for India are in its high degree of versatility, adjustability and customizability. The Picatinny rail enables swift installment of additional equipment depending on the nature of the mission: night and day gunsights, flashlights, handles, laser designators etc. The rifle can be quickly adapted to the use of various components of the Armed Forces and security agencies.

  • What will be the composition of the OFB-Kalashnikov joint venture?

The OFB owns the controlling stakes of 50.5%, while Kalashnikov owns 42% stake followed by 7.5% stake of Rosoboronexport.

  • What will be the rate of production in India per annum of these guns?

This issue lies in the competence of the Indian Government.

From our side we can say that the capacity of the plant is sufficient to arm the personnel of all security agencies in India. Should it become necessary, the parties will be able toenlarge the production output as well as make any upgrades to the facility.

  • Other than the Indian Army, have any other Paramilitary forces in India have shown interest in AK 203?

Yes, we have been delivering our new AK-15 for the paramilitary in 3 Indian states.

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