With an aim to equip the Indian army soldiers with modern rifles, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated an Indo-Russian joint venture (JV) that will produce the new Kalashnikov AK-203 rifle in
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said, “During my official visit to India last October… Mr Modi and I reached the agreement on setting up Kalashnikov production in this country. The IGA was prepared and signed in the shortest time.” He further added, “The new joint venture will manufacture world-famous Kalashnikov assault rifles of the newest 200 series and will eventually reach full localisation of production. Thus, the Indian defence-industrial sector will have the opportunity to fulfil the needs of national security agencies in this category of small arms, resting upon advanced Russian technologies.”
Commissioning of the new enterprise will promote robust defence potential of India and advance the industrial basis of the national economy.
The AK-203 with the US-made Sig Sauer assault rifle will take the place of indigenous INSAS rifles and AK-47 rifles that Indian Army soldiers currently carry. The defence ministry approved the procurement of 72,400 SIG716-G2 assault rifles from US manufacturer, Sig Sauer which is approximately worth Rs 700 crore. The price of the AK-203 will include the cost of technology transfer and setting up manufacturing facilities will be clear after the contract.
Putin opined that commissioning of the new enterprise will promote robust defence potential of India and advance the industrial basis of the national economy. It will be vital in creating new jobs for a qualified workforce providing propulsion to education and personal training. “The plant itself will become another symbol of friendship and constructive cooperation between our two countries,” he said in his message read out by the defence minister.”