India produced first batch of Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles

NEW DELHI, INDIA — India and Russia have jointly started serial production of Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles. The first batch of AK-203 made entirely in India has now been completed. The executive director of RosOborExport, Mr. Alexander Mikheev, announced the news today, February 17. AK-203 will be manufactured in India. Manufacturing takes place at the Korwa Ordnance Plant in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh.

'Black hole': a disagreement between Russia and India 'absorbs' AK-203 deal
Photo credit: Wikipedia

India to acquire 670,000 AK-203 assault rifles. The first 70,000 have already been produced in Russia and delivered on January 25, 2022. The remaining 600,000 AK-203s will be produced in India. Such is the agreement between Moscow and New Delhi signed years ago. The Russian armed forces also use the AK-203, but in a rather limited series and not for all Russian units.

India has an opportunity to become one of the major producers of small arms in Asia. With the new production, Indian authorities are not ruling out the possibility that a new design of next-generation assault rifles will be born at the Korwa plant in Amethi.

Mr. Mikheev announced that the Indian Army will soon start receiving deliveries of the AK-203. According to him, the plant and production potential allow New Delhi not only to arm its army, but also all Indian law enforcement agencies. Russia has agreed for India to export the manufactured AK-203.

AK-203 is considered one of the best samples in the world, reaching the level of the famous Soviet assault rifle AK-47. Ergonomics, adaptability to the user, and high operational characteristics characterize the AK-203.

The assault rifle has the usual Russian caliber of 7.62×39mm. The AK-203 is a gas-operated, magazine-fed, select-fire assault rifle. It weighs just under 4 kg and the barrel length is 415 mm. The new Indian acquisition impresses with the shots per minute [rpm] which are approximately 700.

The AK-203’s range is most effective at a distance between 400 and 800 meters. Its feed system is a 30-round detachable box magazine or a 50-round detachable quad-column magazine. For greater efficiency, the Picatinny rails allow the mounting of various day, night, or thermal vision sights. Separately, the AK-203 has iron sights.

The new Indian assault rifle will replace the SIG716 in service with the Indian Army. Production of the first batch of AK-203 in India began at the end of last year – on October 19.

Kalashnikov plant in India begins serial production of the AK-203
Photo credit: Rostec

However, not everything between India and Russia regarding the serial production of assault rifles went according to plan. In mid-2020, for example, negotiations were almost at a standstill. Moscow and New Delhi did not budge and could not agree on two key issues: the cost of a unit of AK-302 production and exports of Indian production. Apparently, these obstacles have been overcome and the plant is operating at full capacity.

With today’s news, Mr. Mikheev added that Inidya is getting an assault rifle that fully retains the traditional scheme and advantages of the notorious brand of weapons. He aimed for ease of maintenance and use, as well as historically proven reliability.

***

Follow us everywhere and at any time. BulgarianMilitary.com has responsive design and you can open the page from any computer, mobile devices or web browsers. For more up-to-date news, follow our Google NewsYouTubeRedditLinkedInTwitter and Facebook pages. Subscribe to our Newsletter and read our stories in News360App in AppStore or GooglePlay or in FeedlyApp in AppStore or GooglePlay. Our standards: Manifesto & ethical princliples.