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Indian, Russian joint venture delivers 35,000 AK-203s to Indian Army

The Indian Army is scheduled to receive another batch of 35,000 AK-203 rifles by May 2025. (Kalashnikov Group/Janes)

Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) – a joint venture between Russia and India – has completed the delivery of 35,000 7.62 mm Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles to the Indian Army, Russian defence industrial group Rostec said on 5 July.

Delivery of the rifles represents the initial tranche of a larger Indian military requirement for 600,000 AK-203s. IRRPL – headquartered in Korwa, Uttar Pradesh, in northern India – was set up in 2019 to produce the rifles in India.

“The IRRPL joint venture … has completed the first phase of the project to manufacture Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles in India,” Rostec quoted Alexander Mikheev, the director general of its subsidiary Rosoboronexport, Russia's defence export agency, as saying.

“To increase the degree of localisation, all necessary equipment has been shipped to the Korwa ordnance factory … and the production facilities have been fully equipped. This made it possible to manufacture and supply a batch of 35,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles to the Indian Army within the timeframe agreed upon with the Indian MoD [Ministry of Defence],” said Mikheev.

Janes reported in late May that the Indian Army has already started operating and testing about 27,000 AK-203s produced by IRRPL. The service is also scheduled to receive another batch of 35,000 AK-203s by May 2025. An IRRPL official told Janes that the initial batch of 35,000 rifles will consist of an indigenous content of 25%. IRRPL aims to increase this to 100% by 2025.

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