India secured 35,000 cutting-edge Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles

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According to Russia’s TASS news agency, state-owned enterprise Rostec has announced the delivery of 35,000 Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles to India’s defense ministry.

Rostec’s statement highlighted that Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited, a joint venture between Russia and India located in India, has produced and transferred these rifles to the Ministry of Defense of India. The Russian founders of the enterprise include Rosoboronexport and the Kalashnikov concern, both under Rostec’s umbrella.

The Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited factory, established near the town of Korwa in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi district, will eventually produce around 670,000 AK-203 assault rifles for the Indian Armed Forces. Of these, 600,000 will be manufactured at the IRRPL plant, making India the first foreign nation to produce the 200th series of Kalashnikov rifles.

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

Manufactured under license

In May this year, the Indian Army took delivery of 27,000 Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles manufactured at IRRPL. This follows the initial batch of 70,000 units received in January 2022.

Production in India aligns fully with the Make In India and Self-Reliant India initiatives, which aim for 100% localization of AK-203 manufacturing. Rostec CEO Sergey Chemezov highlighted Russia’s competitive edge as a dependable supplier of top-tier defense solutions while discussing trends in the modern arms market.

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Rostec underscores that the AK-203 rifles are produced in India utilizing exclusive Russian technologies on certified equipment, ensuring high product quality and adherence to the declared specifications.

Kalashnikov AK-203

The Kalashnikov AK-203 is a modernized version of the iconic AK-47 assault rifle, developed by the Kalashnikov Concern in Russia. It is part of the AK-200 series, which aims to provide enhanced performance and reliability while maintaining the legendary durability of its predecessors.

The AK-203 has a total length of 705 mm [27.8 inches] with the stock folded and 940 mm [37 inches] with the stock extended. The barrel length is 415 mm [16.3 inches], contributing to its overall compact and versatile design, suitable for various combat scenarios.

Technically, the AK-203 features several improvements over earlier models. It includes a Picatinny rail for mounting optics and accessories, an ergonomic pistol grip, and an adjustable folding stock. The rifle also incorporates a new muzzle brake to reduce recoil and muzzle rise, enhancing accuracy during rapid fire.

The principle of operation for the AK-203 is based on the long-stroke gas piston system, which is a hallmark of the Kalashnikov design. This system ensures reliable operation under adverse conditions, such as dirt, mud, and extreme temperatures, making it highly dependable in the field.

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AK-203’s ammunition

The AK-203 is chambered for the 7.62x39mm cartridge, a caliber known for its stopping power and effectiveness in short to medium-range engagements. This caliber has been widely used in various conflicts around the world, proving its effectiveness and reliability.

The ammunition used by the AK-203 includes various types of 7.62x39mm rounds, such as full metal jacket [FMJ], hollow point [HP], and armor-piercing [AP] rounds. This versatility allows the rifle to be adapted to different combat situations and target types.

The operational range of the AK-203 is typically around 300 to 400 meters for effective engagement, although it can reach out to 800 meters with less accuracy. The rifle’s iron sights are calibrated for up to 1,000 meters, but practical accuracy diminishes beyond the effective range.

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