The Centre has approved the production of over five lakh AK-203 assault rifles at Korwa in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi to boost the self-reliance in defence manufacturing, the Government of India sources said.
According to sources, this endeavour will be done in partnership with Russia and reflects the deepening partnership between the two countries in the defence sector. It reflects the ever-increasing paradigm shift in defence acquisition from buy global to Make in India.
The project will provide business opportunities to various MSMEs and other defence industries for the supply of raw materials and components, which will lead to the generation of new employment opportunities.
The project marks a significant stride towards making Uttar Pradesh a key contributor to the ascendant defence manufacturing prowess of India, sources said.
The 7.62 X 39mm caliber AK-203 Rifles will replace in-service INSAS Rifle inducted over three decades back, they informed.
AK-203 Assault Rifles, with an effective range of 300 meters, are lightweight, robust and easy to use Modern Assault Rifles with proven technology that will enhance the combat potential of soldiers to adequately meet present and envisaged operational challenges.
They will enhance the operational effectiveness of the Indian Army in counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism operations.
The project will be implemented by a special purpose Joint Venture called Indo-Russian Rifles Private Ltd (IRRPL). It has been created with erstwhile OFB [now Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWEIL) and Munitions India Limited (MIL)] of India and Rosoboronexport (RoE) and concern Kalashnikov of Russia.