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​India Continues Arms Cooperation With russia: Plant Producing AK-203 Has Released Its First Batch

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​India Continues Arms Cooperation With russia: Plant Producing AK-203 Has Released Its First Batch

In total, India is planning to make 600,000 AK-203 rifles at the joint venture with russia

Despite the russian federation being heavily sanctioned by many countries that also affect others who try to buy arms from the pariah, some still retain close ties with Moscow. This includes India which remains one of the main clients of the russian military industry.

In particular, the Indian-russian joint venture "Indo-Russian Rifles Private Ltd." has completed the production of its first batch of AK-203 automatic rifles, Janes reports.

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Although we should note that this is most likely a test batch and comprises a rather small number of guns, because the official announcement of the production start appeared only on January 17 this year. The manufacturer was expecting to produce 5,000 rifles by March 2023.

AK-203 is another stage of the AK branch development with some cosmetic updates, it is made in caliber 7.62x39 mm
AK-203 is another stage of the AK branch development with some cosmetic updates, it is made in caliber 7.62x39 mm / Image: Rosoboronexport

The total amount of weapons this plant plans to produce throughout the next 10.5 years is 600,000 units of AK-203 which will become the primary rifle for the Indian army. The production plan provides for a gradual increase in the localization of the process. The first 70,000 rifles should have up to 70% of Indian components, and the figure must grow up to 100% afterwards.

The declared total value of the deal between the two countries signed in December 2021 was USD 677 million. We have no reliable information on how much revenue russia will get from the facility. Formally, 49.5% of "Indo-Russian Rifles Private Ltd" belongs to russian companies: 42% to "Kalashnikov" concern and 7.5% to "Rosoboronexport".

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi (in the middle) during the grand opening of the facility
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi (in the middle) during the grand opening of the facility / Open source photo

On a side note, we should remark that the building of the plant for making russian rifles began back in 2007, but due to some problems, it opened with a delay in 2019. three more years it took to launch the production.

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