Indo-Russian Rifles Pvt Ltd (IRR), a joint venture (jv) of the Indian Ordnance Factory Board and Rosoboronexport and Kalashnikov – both entities of Russian state corporation Rostec – has opened a plant at Corva, Uttar Pradesh, for production of the Russian AK203 rifle, Rosoboronexport announced on 3 March. 

“The commissioning of the JV for production of the AK203 is by all means a milestone in our partnership under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The plant in Corva is one of the most advanced OFB's small arms enterprises already in operation. With production of 750,000 pieces approved, major components for them will come mostly from India. Nobody has offered India such [a] deep and thorough localisation opportunity with a rather high production quantity involved and it is unlikely that somebody will in the near future. The capacity of the plant is sufficient to arm the personnel of all security agencies in India. Should it become necessary, the parties will be able to ratchet up the production output and upgrade the facility to manufacture future models based on Kalashnikov's unique design,” stated Rosoboronexport CEO, Alexander Mikheev.

Major milestones en route to the JV include a government-to-government agreement, shareholders’ agreement, approval of the JV charter and registration of the enterprise in India.

The 200-series Kalashnikovs were first unveiled outside Russia at IDEX 2019 in Abu Dhabi and Aero India 2019 in Bengaluru. “India is the first country to have launched production of the 200-series of the world-famous Kalashnikov brand. We sincerely congratulate our Indian colleagues [….] stressing a high level of trust and unquestionable strategic partnership between India and Russia in the defence and security domain,” added Mr Mikheev.

The new Kalashnikov has inherited all the advantages of conventional AKs – reliability, durability and maintainability. At the same time, they are fully consistent with modern small arms requirements in terms of ergonomics and compatibility with hi-tech accessories.

The AK-203 will soon be rolling off Indian production lines, where the manufacture of 750,000 has been authorized. (Photo: Rosoboronexport)

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