Kalashnikov AK-203 Assault Rifles

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    • Recently, an Indo-Russian joint venture has started manufacturing Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles in India.

    AK-203 Assault Rifles

    • About:
      • India is the first country to start producing the AK-200-series assault rifles of the world-famous brand.
      • Korwa Ordnance Factory in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, has produced the first batch of 7.62 mm Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles. 
      • The first lot of 5,000 AK-203 rifles, out of the total of 6,01,427 to be manufactured over a 10-year period for Rs 5,124 crore.
    • Developed By: 
      • India and Russia had signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) in February 2019 for production of AK 203 assault rifles.
      • For this, a Joint venture was formed between Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) on the Indian side, and Rosonboron Exports and Concern Kalashnikov on the Russian side.
    • Significance:
      • Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited fully complies with the government of India’s Made in India initiative and DAP (Defence Acquisition Procedure) 2020. 
      • It plans to ensure 100 percent localisation of the production of AK-203 rifles in India. 
      • The move will lend greater firepower to the Indian armed forces.

    India-Russia Defence cooperation

    • Defence cooperation is an important pillar of the India-Russia strategic partnership. It is guided by the Programme for Military Technical Cooperation signed between the two countries.
    • India-Russia bilateral projects currently underway include indigenous production of T-90 tanks and Su-30-MKIaircraft, supply of MiG-29-K aircraft and Kamov-31 and Mi-17 helicopters, upgrade of MiG-29 aircraft and supply of Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher Smerch.
    • INS Vikramaditya, the sole aircraft carrier operated by India, is also Russian in origin.
    • Both the countries have also collaborated to develop and produce supersonic BrahMos cruise missiles in India.
    • Joint exercises between the two Armed Forces are held under the title “INDRA”.

    Source: BS