India-Russia deals to procure AK-103 rifles

India and Russia have signed a deal to immediately procure AK-103 Rifles on August 20, 2021.

Key points

  • This deal was inked as a part of mega infantry modernisation programme.
  • Under this programme, India is procuring a number of AK-103 series of assault rifles from Russia for the Indian Army.
  • Deal was finalised under the provisions of emergency procurement or emergency financial powers which have been granted to the three services to make urgent purchases.
  • Indian Army has a requirement of 770,000 AK-47 203 rifles. Out of this, 100000 will be imported and rest will be manufactured in India.

Modernization plan

Under the modernization plan, Indian army is purchasing a huge number of light machine guns, battle carbines and assault rifles which will replace its ageing and obsolete weapons.

Background

This development came four years after the Indian Army started the process to acquire around seven lakh rifles,44600 carbines and 44,000 light machine guns in 2017. India and Russia had inked major deal to manufacture AK-47 203 rifles in India in September 2020.

Highlights of the deal

This rifle will be manufactured under the joint venture Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL).  Cost of a single rifle will be nearly USD 1100, including the cost of setting up of manufacturing unit as well as the cost of technology – transfer.

About AK-47 203

It is the latest and most advanced version of AK-47 rifle. It is a modernize 200 series AK-103 variant. This rifle will replace Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) 5.56×45 mm assault rifle, which was in use since 1996.

Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL)

IRRPL is a rifle-manufacturing facility in Korwa village of Amethi district in Uttar Pradesh. This factory will manufacture the AK-203 variant of the rifles. This factory was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019. It is a joint-venture of Ordnance Factory Board of India and Kalashnikov Concern of Russia. Rosoboronexport is also holding a minority stake. OFB has 50.5% majority stake, Kalashnikov has 42% while Rosoboronexport has 7.5% stake in IRRPL.

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