The Narendra Modi-led Central government has fast-tracked this programme as these rifles are needed on immediate basis for modernizing the Infantry arm of the Indian Army, who is guarding long stretches of borders close to Pakistan and China.
Indo-Russia Rifles Ltd. plant at Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) Korwa in Amethi is being inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.
As reported earlier, 7, 50,000 units of AK-103 assault rifles, the third generation of AK-47, will be produced at the OFB facility in UP. The production of the assault rifles under joint venture between Russia’s Kalashnikov Concern and OFB will be the biggest ever.
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These assault rifles are already being used by armed forces of Indonesia and Venezuela.
The joint venture is in response to Request for Information (RFI) for procurement of 650 000 assault rifles of 7.62×39 mm caliber under ‘Make in India’ program. The Russian share in the JV as per the provisions of the law is going to be 49.5% with the OFB share being the majority 50.5% of the registered capital.
As part of the deal around 50,000 assault rifles will be handed over to India once the joint venture is inked. There is an urgent requirement for rifles of two different types – a very accurate rifle with a high rate of fire and secondly a lighter assault rifle meant for infantry troops.
Russia has been pushing for signing this deal since last October when Indo-Russia summit had taken place in New Delhi. Followed by India-Russian intergovernmental commission meeting on military technical cooperation in December where it was decided that the Kalashnikovs will be made in India under Make in India initiative of the government.
The government has fast tracked this programme as these rifles are needed on immediate basis for modernizing the Infantry arm of the Indian Army, who is guarding long stretches of borders close to Pakistan and China.
These rifles are expected to be made in India for the Indian Army as well as police forces, and it could also be exported to friendly countries. The government is keen on 100 per cent local content for manufacturing of the rifles. Under the Joint Venture the two sides are expected to jointly produce and develop (Modernization) of AK-103 rifles.
After completing the order of the assault rifles for the Indian army, under the JV between Russia and OFB, modernization of the Indian Armed Forces stock of 5.56mm caliber rifles to 7.62mm calibre could be taken up.
India and Russia have also signed in December 2018, the establishment of a Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission on military and military technical cooperation to complete the restructuring of the intergovernmental commission to make it possible to establish closer cooperation in the defense sector.