Indian Soldiers to get new indigenous AK-203 rifles

AK-203 rifles
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Indian Army is likely to receive the first lot of 5,000 AK-203 rifles, out of the total 6,01,427 to be manufactured over a ten period for Rs. 5,124 crores, by March.

According to fresh reports, the long-pending project to manufacture over six lakh AK-203 Kalashnikov rifles at the Korwa ordnance factory in Amethi district of Uttar Pradesh has kicked off and the Indian army will now finally get modern assault rifles in bulk. 

As quoted in Times of India, General Manoj Pande has confirmed that the first 70,000 of the 7.62*39 mm calibre rifles, with an indigenous range from 5% to 70%, will be delivered in 32 months. The rest of the rifles, which have an effective range of 300-meter, are supposed to have 100% indigenous content.

A TOI report has claimed that the AK-203 project – a joint venture called Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited – was first announced in 2018 but was delayed due to costing, a royalty, technology transfer and other issues.

The demand for a new batch of rifles to replace existing glitch prone 5.56 mm INSAS (Indian small arms system) rifles, has been doing the rounds.

The delay in the project has forced the Indian Army to import a limited quantity of 7.62*51mm assault rifles with a ‘longer kill range’ from US firm SiG Sauer under the fast-track procurement route.

According to Times of India, the AK-203 rifles is part of the Army’s long-delayed future infantry soldier as a system (F-INSAS), aimed at equipping soldiers with three primary subsystems.

The first is the AK-203 assault rifles, with day and night holographic and reflex sights mounted on the weapons as well as helmets to enable a 360- degree visibility and accuracy in operational conditions.

While the second subsystem is protected through a specially-designed helmet and bullet-proof-jacket, the third consists of a communication and surveillance system. ‘F-INSAS is capable of being upgraded further by incorporating real-time data connectivity,” TOI quoted an officer.

With inputs from Times of India

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