Russian AK-203 will be the main assault rifle of the Indian Army

NEW DELHI, (BM) – The Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifle in the future will become the primary assault rifle of the Indian Armed Forces, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing the country’s ambassador to Russia, Datla Bala Venkatesh Varma.

“The conclusion of a contract for the joint production of AK-203 will lay the foundation for the complete transition of the Indian Armed Forces to use the AK-203 as the main assault weapon,” RIA Novosti reports concerning the National Defense magazine, the diplomat said.

He confirmed that the deliveries of S-400 air defense systems to India are being carried out according to the schedule and following the contract terms. “The S-400 is a very advanced air defense system that has no analogs in the world, and therefore will be able to increase the defense potential of India significantly,” the ambassador added.

He also expressed hope for the development of cooperation in helicopter technology, ships, and submarines.

India received 10,000 SIG Sauer rifles

In December 2019 Indian Army has received 10,000 of the 72,400 rifles ordered from SiG Sauer under the fast-track procurement (FTP) route for critical operational requirements.

“The delivery of all these 7.62x51mm caliber rifles, with an effective range of 500-metre, will be completed by early-2020. The Army will get 66,400 of these SiG-716 rifles, while 4,000 are for the Indian Air Force and 2,000 for the Navy. These guns are compact, modern in technology, and easy to maintain in field conditions,” said a source.

The Korwa ordnance factory in Uttar Pradesh, in turn, will progressively manufacture 745,000 Kalashnikov AK-203 rifles in a joint venture with Russia, which could eventually be worth over Rs 12,000 crore with even the demands of police forces being met. The 7.62x39mm caliber AK-203 rifle, a derivative of the iconic AK-47, has “an effective range” of 300-metre.

Back in 2005, the Army first asked for new assault rifles, along with close-quarter battle carbines, for its 382 infantry battalions (each with 850 soldiers) to replace the existing 5.56mm INSAS (Indian small arms system) rifles. But unrealistic technical parameters, as well as corruption allegations, repeatedly derailed the procurement projects.

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