Russia’s state-owned Rosoboronexport has detailed the multi-million dollar AK-203 assault rifles project it signed with India, as well as others in the pipeline.
On December 6, a contract for AK-203s was signed between the joint Russian-Indian company Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) which was established in March 2019 and the Indian Ministry of Defense for production of over 600,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles in India and supply to the country's security, defense and law enforcement agencies.
The Russian side owns 49.5% of shares in the IRRPL (Kalashnikov Concern: 42% and Rosoboronexport: 7.5%).
Rosoboronexport Director General Alexander Mikheev announced to the media that international technology cooperative chain has been set up. With up to 100% localization, the joint venture will manufacture more than 600,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles.
The first 70,000 AK-203 rifles will be produced in India with a phased increase in the extent of localization from 5% to 70%. The rest of the rifles will be produced with 100% localization.
Mikheev added that the Russian side confirms its readiness to ensure full-scale production of the latest version of the Kalashnikov assault rifles within 2-3 years.
A modern production line has been established at the Korwa Ordnance Factory in Uttar Pradesh and a small arms range has been set up where both factory and acceptance tests of assault rifles will be carried out. Rosoboronexport and Kalashnikov specialists take an active part in all production setup stages.
Rosoboronexport’s key figures and achievements in India:
“India has always been and remains one of the key buyers of Russian materiel for decades. We support and build mutually beneficial strategic partnerships. And the main principle of cooperation is based on the ‘Make in India’ program announced by the Government of India and being successfully implemented by the industry. Rosoboronexport has been doing that for a long time and we really have something to be proud of. Russia is the first country to start large-scale cooperation with India in the format of technology transfer and launching production of Russian-developed products at Indian enterprises,” Mikheev added.
Joint ventures have been established and are operating in India, licensed production facilities have been set up. “We are implementing joint projects for all services of the armed forces with a degree of cooperation between the enterprises of the two countries that is unique for the world market.”
“We are the only country that has such close and comprehensive science and technology ties with India in the field of defense industry. Today we are conducting joint research work on more than 100 promising topics, laying the huge groundwork for the development of high-tech industry in both countries in the future,” he said.
Kalashnikov PR-service statement:
Starting from 2019 Russian and Indian specialists have completed a huge amount of preparatory work to optimize the price and tech parameters of the contract. Today the long-awaited contract for production of more than 600 thousand assault riffles in India has been signed. We are ready to start producing the AK-203 assault riffles in India in the upcoming months.
Rosoboronexport, with the Sprut-SDM1 light amphibious tank, will definitely take part in the Indian tender for the supply of light tanks and will even offer the transfer of technology and, quite possibly, the localization of production of some units and components.
The Sprut-SDM1 light amphibious tank is the only light amphibious combat vehicle in its class that has firepower of a main battle tank and is equipped with a 125 mm cannon. All the ammunition produced in India for use with T-72M1 and T-90-S tanks can be used for the Sprut -SDM1, which is unrivaled throughout the world. It can overcome water obstacles and at the same time fire the main armament, disembark from a ship, operate day and night on terrain that is impassable for other similar vehicles – high in the mountains in a rarefied air environment, at very high and low temperatures. This tank is of great interest to the countries with difficult geographical conditions (water barriers, swamps and mountains). The vehicle is equipped with a guided missile system designed to defeat armored targets, including those equipped with ERA, at ranges up to 5 km.