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Indo-Russian venture completes production of AK-203 first batch

The AK-203 assault rifle is chambered for 7.62×39 rounds and can use ammunition and magazines that exist within the Indian Army supply chain. The weight of the rifle is 3.8 kg, the length is 690 mm with a folded butt and 930 mm with an extended butt, and the rate of fire is 700 rds/min. (Janes/Kapil Kajal)

Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) – a joint venture between Russia and India to manufacture AK-203 assault rifles for the Indian Armed Forces – has completed the production of the first batch of rifles in Korwa Ordnance Factory in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh.

Alexander Mikheev, director general of Russian defence export agency Rosoboronexport, which is one of the stakeholders in IRRPL, said that the joint venture has produced the first batch of 7.62 mm Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles and the beginning of deliveries to the Indian Army is expected soon.

India's Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande recently said that the joint venture will produce 5,000 AK-203 rifles by March 2023.

“The plan is to produce a total of 600,000 AK-203 rifles for the Indian Army in 128 months or just over 10 years. However, in the next 32 months, about 70,000 rifles will be produced with an indigenous content up to 70%,” Gen Pande said.

Following this batch of 70,000, every AK-203 rifle will be produced with 100% indigenous content, Gen Pande added.

India's state-owned firms, Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWEIL) and Munitions India Limited, collectively hold a 50.5% stake in IRRPL, with Kalashnikov owning a 42% share, and Rosoboronexport owning the remaining 7.5%.

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