Russian news agency TASS reported that Russian and Indian specialists have carried out large-scale preparatory work over three years to optimize the project’s price and technological parameters. Now that the contract has been signed, India are ready to start the production of advanced AK-203s in the town of Korwa in the coming month. Russia and India have signed a contract on the delivery of over 600,000 7.62mm AK-203 assault rifles that will be produced on India’s soil to the Defense Ministry of India. Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL), based at Amethi, is opening a new page in Russian-Indian military-technical cooperation.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced plans in early March 2019 to set up an Indo-Russian joint venture for the production of Kalashnikov assault rifles in the country. The joint venture IRRPL for the manufacture of AK-203 assault rifles has been established at a production facility in the town of Korwa of the Amethi district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Therefore, India can become the first foreign country to produce Kalashnikov assault rifles of the latest 200th series. The AK-203 is one of Kalashnikov latest automatic weapons. It has been tested for a long time and the Indian partners have been quite meticulous in choosing the proper model and have opted for the AK-203.
The AK-203 is a gas-operated, magazine-fed, select fire assault rifle designed to chamber 7.62×39mm cartridge. It is one of the latest iterations of the AK series of assault rifles originally designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov. The AK-203 assault rifle is going to replace Indian military’s INSAS rifles, the Indian Armed Forces have a requirement of 670,000 rifles. The prototype development of predecessor of AK-203 rifle, dubbed as AK-200 series began in 2007. The upgraded assault rifle prototype was initially designated as AK-300 and then as AK-100M and finally in 2019 as AK-203.
The AK-100 family is a series of Kalashnikov rifles, intended for export and sale on the domestic market. The family of rifles offers the AK-74M system, in multiple cartridges and lengths. The original AK-100 series rifles were introduced in 1994 and are categorized by all having black polymer handguards, and use of AK-74M internal systems. Rifles in the 100 series have been exported to and/or adopted by a variety of countries, notably: Armenia, Cyprus, Indonesia, Serbia, Syria, Uruguay, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Venezuela. The AK-105 has also seen some domestic use, filling a niche role as a middle ground between the AK-74M and AKS-74U.