Senior Kalashnikov officials, the small weapons facility in Amethi is set to begin producing AK-203 assault rifles before the end of the year. In three years, the joint venture between Advanced Weapons and Equipment India (formerly OFB) and Russian Rosoboronexport will be able to produce the Indo Russian Rifles at full capacity.
The joint venture is back on track and equipment to build the rifles will be shipped in two stages, authorities said. After confronting numerous hurdles like payment-related concerns caused by Western sanctions and a complex technology transfer deal, officials added.
As part of the bigger order for AK-203 assault rifles, Kalashnikov has already delivered a batch of 70,000 Russian-made guns. Officials stated that they don’t foresee any obstacles in moving forward with the project and that the necessary equipment is soon to be shipped to India.
“Russian engineers have already taught staff to produce the guns in India after visiting the factory. We will aid in building up the production plants as the equipment comes “a Kalashnikov representative said. A dependable ammunition manufacturer has been found, and minor project snags like a batch of defective ammunition supplied by the former Ordnance Factory Board that caused the failure of various weapon systems have been fixed.
Although they have not yet been included in the bundle and may be added on later, the Russian company has also suggested many improvements for the rifles, such as choices like an adjustable stock and sights.
The Amethi facility, which will make more than 6 lakh weapons over the next few years, sells primarily to the Army. India and Russia agreed to the Rs 5,124 crore deal in December. The two countries’ largest defence agreement in recent years is this one. The agreement includes a provision for full technology transfer. Additionally, the firearms will be exported to friendly foreign countries.
The newest Kalashnikov rifles will be produced in the Korwa Rifle Factory in Amethi, which is being modernised with a production line. The facility has also installed a small arms range where the armed forces may carry out acceptance trials before receiving the equipment.