The government has approved the plan for production of over five lakh AK-203 assault rifles at Korwa in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India, sources said.
The government is seeing it as an endeavour to provide a big boost to self-reliance in defence manufacturing in India.
The project, worth Rs 5,100 crore, is in partnership with Russia. Sources said that this endeavour reflects the deepening ties between the two countries in the defence sector.
The project will provide business opportunities to various MSMEs and other defence industries for supply of raw material and components, which will lead to generation of new employment opportunities.
The project marks a significant stride towards making UP a key contributor in the ascendent defence manufacturing prowess of India.
The 7.62 X 39 mm caliber AK-203 Rifles will replace in-service INSAS Rifle inducted over three decades back. AK-203 Assault Rifles, with an effective range of 300 meters, are light weight, 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 source said.
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.