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

Indian Army Receives AK-203 Rifles from Russia

The Indian Army has started receiving the much-anticipated AK-203 assault rifles from Russia, marking a significant step in its modernization efforts. Despite initial delays due to the war in Ukraine and payment issues, the first batch of 27,000 rifles has been delivered. These rifles are produced by an Indo-Russian joint venture located in Korwa, Uttar Pradesh. Official sources confirmed the delivery, stating, “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.” The indigenisation level of these rifles is currently around 25%.

Distribution to Units

Out of the received rifles, the Indian Army has already distributed over 10,000 to various units. The remaining batches are currently undergoing inspection and will soon be distributed. This distribution is part of a larger contract worth over ₹5,000 crore, signed in July 2021, which stipulates the production of more than 6.1 lakh AK-203 assault rifles in India. The contract is seen as a major boost to the Indian Army’s infantry capabilities, providing soldiers with a modern and reliable weapon.

Production and Technology Transfer

The production of these rifles is facilitated through a technology transfer from Russia, managed by the Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) joint venture. IRRPL was established in 2019 and includes Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited and Munitions India Limited from India, along with Russia’s Rosoboronexport and Kalashnikov Concern. According to the agreement, the first 70,000 rifles will be produced in India with a phased increase in localization, starting at 5% and reaching 70%.

Future Production

The goal is to achieve 100% local content in the manufacturing of these rifles eventually. Full-scale production is expected 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 source explained, “The process will be slow initially. Even our initial timelines accounted for two years to achieve 70% indigenous content. We are aiming to achieve it before that.”

The Indian Army’s acquisition of AK-203 rifles is a crucial part of its modernization program, ensuring that soldiers are equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry. The successful implementation of this project will not only enhance the operational capabilities of the Indian Army but also boost India’s defence manufacturing sector through increased dominance and self-reliance in defence production.

Indian Army Begins Induction of Russian AK-203 Assault Rifles After Delays -_3.1

FAQs

How many rifles are delivered in the first batch?

The first batch contains 27,000 rifles that are been delivered.

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