Earlier on Thursday, the Armenian state news agency Armenpress reported that production of 50,000 Kalashnikov AK103 assault rifles in Armenia is scheduled to begin in July in this year. The relevant contract for the organization of the phased manufacture of AK-103 in Armenia was signed based on the decision of the Russian Federal Service for Military- Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) on May 15, 2020. Next month, the country will start producing the rifles, the plant’s work was going to be organized in two stages. At the initial stage, the components will be delivered from Russia. The second stage involves the production of simple parts needed for on-site assembly, again using Russian technologies.
The AK-103 is an assault rifle designed in Russia by Russian small arms designer Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1994. It is a derivative of the AKM (chambered for the 7.62x39mm M43 cartridge) in the configuration similar to the AK-74M. 7.62x39mm magazines from previous AK generations are compatible with AK103. The AK-103 can be fitted with a variety of sights, including night vision and telescopic sights, plus a knife-bayonet or a grenade launcher. It uses plastic components where possible instead of wood or metal, with such components being the pistol grip, handguards, stock and depending on the type, the magazine.
Protective coatings ensure excellent corrosion resistance of metal parts. Forearm, magazine, butt stock and pistol grip are made of high strength plastic. The AK-104 is a compact version of the AK-103. It has a muzzle brake derived from the older AKS-74U combined with a shorter barrel. It is also chambered for 7.62×39mm ammunition. The current issue steel-reinforced matte true black nonreflective surface finished 7.62×39mm 30-round magazines, fabricated from ABS plastic weigh 0.25 kg (0.55 lb) empty. The transition from steel to mainly plastic magazines yielded a significant weight reduction and allow a soldier to carry more rounds for the same weight.