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India-Russia agreement on AK-203 assault rifles, will replace INSAS rifles

The country’s army will soon receive a fantastic Kalashnikov rifle. The AK-203 assault rifle is made in Russia. In this context, India and Russia signed a significant agreement on Monday under which five lakh AK 203 rifles will be manufactured in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, under the Make in India programme. The agreement was signed by Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and his Russian colleague Sergei Shoigu.

The AK-203 production in India is known as ‘Ek Rifle, Shrestha Rifle,’ as it is one of the best firearms among all the Russian Kalashnikov rifles in use around the world. The former Korba OFB plant in Amethi will produce these five lakh assault rifles. Both countries have launched a new firm called ‘India Russia Rifles Private Limited’ to do this (ISRP). This joint venture was established by Rosoboronexport and Kalashnikov of Russia, as well as two new Indian firms, Advance Weapons and Equipment Limited (AWEIL) and Municipal India Limited (MIL). Following the dissolution of the Ordnance Factory Board, these two Indian firms, AWIL and MIL, were recently founded under the Ministry of Defense (OFB).

Will replace INSAS rifles

Following the signing of the deal, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh stated that India values Russia’s sustained support for the country. We hope that by working together, we can bring peace, prosperity, and stability to the region as a whole. I am pleased that a number of small arms and military cooperation agreements, contracts, and protocols have been inked. Despite the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin inaugurated the Korba plant for the production of AK-203 rifles in 2019, the guns are yet to be produced due to technical issues. This is why India purchased 70 thousand AK-203 rifles from Russia directly. A total of 1.40 lakh Sigsaur rifles were also imported from the United States.

On Monday, Rajnath Singh tweeted that “Today in New Delhi, I had a productive and substantive bilateral discussion on defence cooperation with Russian Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu. India places a high priority on its unique and privileged strategic relationship with Russia.” The AK-203 rifle is a 7.62x39mm rifle that will’replace’ the obsolete INSAS weapons. The AK-203 rifle has a range of roughly 300 metres and is fairly powerful considering its low weight. This weapon will be extremely useful in counter-insurgency and anti-terrorism operations.

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