Modernisation of small weapons of the Indian Army to get ‘Made in India’ boost

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Published: January 7, 2020 7:40:09 PM

For over seven decades Russia has been supplying high-quality armaments and equipment for the Indian Armed forces. And Russia has played a very critical role in setting up 170 military and industrial facilities in India.

Under the JV, at the Korwa facility, world-famous Kalashnikov assault rifles of the newest 200 series will be manufactured based on advanced Russian technologies.

A plant in Korwa (Uttar Pradesh) is soon going to start manufacturing the Kalashnikov AK-203 7.62 mm assault rifles. The Indo-Russian venture will be under the Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited which will be manufacturing 6.5 lakh AK-203 assault rifles 7.62×39 mm calibre in India after a MoU between the two sides is inked soon. The Indian Army needs 7.5 lakh assault rifles out of which one lakh will come straight from Russia.

The facility in UP is a venture between Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) from the Indian side, and Rosoboron Exports and Kalashnikov on the Russian side. Based on the Inter-governmental Agreement signed between the two sides last February, the OFB owns 50.5% equity and the Russian side has the remaining 49.5%.

The requirement for small arms of the Indian Army and the security agencies will be fulfilled once the production starts in India. Under the JV, at the Korwa facility, world-famous Kalashnikov assault rifles of the newest 200 series will be manufactured based on advanced Russian technologies.

India-Russia Military Relations

Military and technical cooperation has traditionally been one of the key areas of the special and privileged strategic partnership between the two countries.

For over seven decades Russia has been supplying high-quality armaments and equipment for the Indian Armed forces. And Russia has played a very critical role in setting up 170 military and industrial facilities in India.

In 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Russian President Vladimir Putin had reached an agreement on producing Kalashnikov rifles in India. Once the production starts it will help in further deepening of the defence relations between the two countries and will also help in creating employment opportunities in the state.

Once the order of the assault rifles is completed the facility created the modernisation of the stock of 5.56mm calibre rifles to 7.62mm calibre is expected to be taken up.

Major General Sanjeev Senger has been appointed by the Indian Army as the Chief Executive Officer of IRRPL to ensure timely deliveries. Before leaving for the India-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Meeting in Moscow last November, defence minister Rajnath Singh had reviewed the project and urged for 100 per cent indigenisation of the rifle based on the understanding between the two countries and after fulfilling India’s requirement to be export the rifles friendly countries.

The Indian Army urgently needs rifles two different types – a lighter assault rifle meant for infantry troops and rifle with a high rate of fire to guard long stretches of borders which are close to Pakistan and China.

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