AK-203 Rifles | 23 Aug 2022

Why in News?

The Indo-Russian joint venture “Indo-Russian Rifles Private Ltd (IRRPL)” will be manufacturing over 6.1 lakh AK-203 assault rifles costing over ₹5,000 crore in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh.

  • Training of Indian workers of the factory will begin shortly and the manufacturing process will reach 100% indigenisation in three years.
  • The AK-203 assault rifles will replace the India-made INSAS assault rifles and the older AK-47.

What do we know about the Contract?

  • Indo-Russian Rifles Private Ltd (IRRPL) was set up jointly between erstwhile Ordnance Factory Board OFB [now Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWEIL) and Munitions India Limited (MIL)] of India and Rosoboronexport (RoE) and concern Kalashnikov of Russia.
  • 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.
  • Kalashnikov has already delivered a batch of 70,000 rifles made in Russia as part of the larger AK-203 assault rifles order.

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.
  • Nine of the fourteen conventional submarines operated by India are Russian.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q. What is the significance of Indo-US defence deals over Indo-Russian defence deals? Discuss with reference to stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (2020)

Source: TH