09:49 GMT08 March 2021
Listen Live
    Military & Intelligence
    Get short URL

    The proposed deal envisages the licensed production of the assault rifles in India jointly by state-owned enterprises and private industry at an estimated cost of $1.9 billion. The Indian Army alone requires more than 768,000 sets of such rifles.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): Top officials of India's Defense Ministry, along with representatives of the country's defense industry, are visiting Moscow next week. They will be assessing the Kalashnikov rifle works at Izhevsk so that the government to government agreement on the licensed production in India of the upgraded Kalashnikov AK-103 7.62x51mm assault rifles can be fast-tracked. The development was confirmed by an official of the defense ministry, as well as by industry sources to Sputnik.

    READ MORE: Indian Army to Soon Get Jackets That Repel Almost All Types of Bullets

    The deal was discussed in detail during the Moscow visit of India's Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier this month.

    "A group of officials from the ordnance factory board of Trichy and Rifle Factory Ichapore will be in Russia on April 24 to assess the Kalashnikov rifle works at Izhevsk. Later on, a defense ministry official will visit Moscow to have detailed discussion with the Russians," an industry source told Sputnik.

    The proposal for the licensed production of AK-103 rifles by the Indian industry enjoys the approval of the Indian Army, which has been facing a longstanding shortage of more than 768,000 assault rifles. Earlier, in February this year, the Nirmala Sitharaman-led Defense Acquisition Council approved the purchase of 740,000 assault rifles for the three services of the Indian Armed Forces.

    "These Rifles will be 'Made in India' under the categorization of 'Buy and Make (Indian)', through both Ordnance Factory Board and Private Industry at an estimated cost of $1.9 billion," India's Defense Ministry informed the Parliament on 13 February.

    Defense analyst Rahul Bhonsle says the AK 103 is a good option for the Indian Army, as the AK series of assault rifles have proven merit.  

    "The AK series is a proven combat weapon system which is simple to operate, does not have stoppages and also meets the specifications of the range of rate of fire required. This will meet the requirements in the short to medium term as the Army has been struggling to induct an assault rifle for some years now," Rahul Bhonsle, retired Indian Army brigadier and defense analyst told Sputnik.

    READ MORE: Kalashnikov Corporation Working on Killer Pistol to Complement Rifle Range

    "I expect that the deal will be signed anytime this year. I see a three year period for start of production after the contract is signed," Bhonsle added.


    Two Soldiers Killed In Unprovoked Firing by Pakistan Troops: Indian Army
    Indian Army Chief: 'We Have to Be Prepared' Amid Chinese 'Pressure'
    Restrictions on Drugs, Internet a Must to Counter Terror - Indian Army Chief
    Indian Army Faces Murder Charges for Firing at Stone Throwers in Jammu & Kashmir
    AK-47, assault rifles, fast, shortage, Indian Army, Indian Defense Ministry, Nirmala Sitharaman, India, Russia
    Community standardsDiscussion