Rosoboronexport, the state agency responsible for exports and imports of defence products, is prepared to train Indian specialists for the AK-203 Kalashnikov project in Amethi, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. A joint venture between India and Russia is being set up to manufacture AK-203 assault rifles under an intergovernmental agreement signed in 2019. In this project, Russia’s iconic assault rifles will be produced in India with 100% localisation. It has been agreed that a joint venture between India and Russia will be set up, and the contract is currently awaiting signature by the Indian defence ministry.
A spokesperson for Rosoboronexport said that the company is prepared to begin work immediately after the contract has been completed on the dispatch of equipment, training of Indian specialists and commissioning of the plant in Amethi. Prime Minister Modi and Russian President Putin announced the project together in 2019 and hope to manufacture huge numbers of rifles, which are a necessity for Indian security forces. As a result of the joint program, rifles may also be exported to other countries.
AK-203 is an advanced version of the Kalashnikov assault rifle family, whose first member was the legendary AK-47. There are accessories like sights and flashlights available for the AK-203, and it has been tested in extreme heat and cold. The spokesperson explained, ‘the historical uniqueness of the AK-203 production project in India is that our Indian partners will manufacture the AK-203 independently, using Indian materials and Indian equipment’.
According to reports, India will receive 100% of the technology needed to produce the rifles, with the project being a Make in India project. Assault rifle costs will vary depending on where production takes place. Early this year, the AK-200 series assault rifles were displayed at the Army-2021 International Military-Technical Forum in Russia, attracting great interest among potential customers from around the world. The Russian company has already signed contracts for the supply of the latest AK-200 series assault rifles.