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NewsIndian Army Begins Induction of Russian AK-203 Assault Rifles After Delays

Indian Army Begins Induction of Russian AK-203 Assault Rifles After Delays

The Indian Army has already distributed over 10,000 of these rifles to its units, with additional batches currently undergoing inspection. This distribution is part of a larger contract worth over ₹5,000 crore, signed in July 2021, which stipulates the manufacture of more than 6.1 lakh AK-203 assault rifles in India.

The Indian Army has started receiving the much-anticipated AK-203 assault rifles from Russia, following a series of delays caused by the war in Ukraine and payment issues. Official sources confirm that 27,000 rifles have been delivered so far by the Indo-Russian joint venture established in Korwa, Uttar Pradesh.

An official familiar with the matter stated, “Everything is on track after initial delays, and 27,000 rifles have been given to the Army. Another 8,000 will be handed over in the next two weeks. Indigenisation level achieved is around 25%.”

The Indian Army has already distributed over 10,000 of these rifles to its units, with additional batches currently undergoing inspection. This distribution is part of a larger contract worth over ₹5,000 crore, signed in July 2021, which stipulates the manufacture of more than 6.1 lakh AK-203 assault rifles in India.

AK 203

This production is facilitated through technology transfer from Russia, managed by the Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) joint venture.

The IRRPL was established in 2019, involving the now-restructured Ordnance Factory Board (currently Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited and Munitions India Limited) from India, and Russia’s Rosoboronexport and Kalashnikov Concern.

According to previous reports by The Hindu, the contract specifies that the first 70,000 rifles will be produced in India with a phased increase in localization, starting at 5% and reaching 70%.

The subsequent production will see the rifles being manufactured with 100% local content. Full-scale production is projected to be achieved within 2-3 years.

Discussing the indigenisation process, a source mentioned that it is proceeding in a “systematic manner,” leading to a gradual but steady increase in local content. “The process will be slow initially. Even our initial timelines accounted for two years to achieve 70% indigenous content,” the source elaborated, adding, “We are aiming to achieve it before that.”

ak 203 assault rifle 5

In light of the repeated delays in finalizing the AK-203 deal, India had earlier procured and inducted 70,000 AK-103 assault rifles off the shelf under an agreement signed in August 2021.

This interim measure ensured that the Indian Army’s immediate requirements were met while the larger AK-203 production ramped up.

The induction of the AK-203 rifles marks a significant step in modernizing the Indian Army’s infantry capabilities, providing soldiers with advanced, reliable firearms manufactured through a blend of international collaboration and indigenous production.

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Pratham Gurung
Pratham Gurung
An avid movie buff who aspires to make it into the armed forces. Always had a knack for words so reading and writing are my favourite hobbies. Can debate on anything but not everything.
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