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AK-203 Rifles

  • 19 Jan 2023
  • 3 min read

Why in News?

India and Russia have begun the joint production of AK 203 rifles at a factory in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh.

  • India and Russia had inked an agreement in December 2021 for procurement of 6,01,427 AK 203 assault rifles through Korwa Ordnance Factory in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi district.

What are the Key Points of Joint Contract?

  • More than six lakh rifles are to be manufactured in India as part of a joint venture — Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited — established between the Indian Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Kalashnikov Concern, and Rosoboronexport, (both subsidiaries of the Rostec State Corporation).
  • The Rs 5,124 crore deal was signed between India and Russia in December 2021.
    • It is the biggest defence deal between the two nations in recent years. The deal has a clause for complete technology transfer. The rifles will also be exported to friendly foreign nations.
  • The idea is to have rifles made of 100 % indigenous components over a period of 128 months.

What is an AK 203 Rifle?

  • AK-203 assault rifle is considered to be the latest and most advanced version of the AK-47 rifle.
  • It is a 7.62×39mm variant from the AK-100 rifle family (one that offers the AK-74M system, in multiple cartridges and lengths).
  • It is expected to replace the Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) 5.56×45 mm assault rifle, which are presently being used by Army, Navy and the Air Force besides other security forces.
  • INSAS rifles are not suitable for use at high altitude. Several other issues with these rifles include gun jamming, oil leakage etc.

How has Indo-Russia Defence and Security Relations been?

  • India-Russia military-technical cooperation has evolved from a buyer-seller framework to one involving joint research, development and production of advanced defence technologies and systems.
  • Both countries regularly conduct the Tri-Services exercise ‘INDRA‘.
  • The joint programmes between India and Russia include:
  • The military hardware purchased/leased by India from Russia includes:
  • Russia also plays a very important role in assisting the Indian Navy with its submarine programmes:
    • Indian Navy’s first submarine, ‘Foxtrot Class came from Russia.
    • India is dependent on Russia for its nuclear submarine programme.
    • INS Vikramaditya, the sole aircraft carrier operated by India, is also Russian in origin.

Source: PRINT

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