The Indo-Russian joint venture at Korwa in Uttar Pradesh will start manufacturing AK-203 assault rifles by 2022 end.
- Under an over ₹5,000 crore contract, over 6.1 lakh AK-203 assault rifles will be manufactured in India with technology transfer from Russia.
- The Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited was set up in 2019 to produce the Russian-origin Kalashnikov assault rifles in Korwa Ordnance Factory in Amethi district.
- AK203 is the advanced version of the Kalashnikov assault rifle family, the first of which was the AK-47.
- The AK-203 assault rifles will replace the INSAS rifles that have been in service for over three decades.
- The weapon fires 7.62×39 cartridges and weighs 3.8 kg without ammo.
- The modern version of the Russian-origin rifle has an effective range of 300 metres or more than three football fields, is lightweight and robust.
About the ‘India-Russia Defence cooperation’ –
- As per a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, India figures amongst the key arms importing destination globally.
- India has for decades been Russia’s largest arms importer, with Russian weapons accounting for nearly 70% of India’s military arsenal.
- The two nations have earlier collaborated to manufacture the BrahMos missiles, which are a key component of India’s missile defence systems.
- Furthermore, the defence trade between India and Russia has crossed $15 billion since 2018, in the backdrop of some big deals including the $5.43 billion S-400 long range air defence systems.