India signs deal with Russian firm to manufacture 75,000 AK-203 assault rifles; AK-47 derivative to replace indigenous INSAS

India has signed a deal with a Russian firm to manufacture 750,000 of the AK-203 assault rifles, which is the latest derivative of the legendary AK-47 rifle

Asian News International March 03, 2019 17:54:09 IST
India signs deal with Russian firm to manufacture 75,000 AK-203 assault rifles; AK-47 derivative to replace indigenous INSAS
  • India has signed a deal with a Russian firm to manufacture 750,000 of the AK-203 rifles, which would be given to the Army's infantry troops

  • AK–203 is the latest derivative of the legendary AK-47 rifle

  • The AK-203 will replace the existing India-made INSAS assault rifles in the Army, Air Force and Navy

New Delhi: AK–203 is the latest derivative of the legendary AK-47 rifle. India has signed a deal with a Russian firm to manufacture 750,000 of these assault rifles which would be given to the Army's infantry troops.

According to officials, the guns would replace the existing India-made INSAS assault rifles in the Army, Air Force and Navy.

India signs deal with Russian firm to manufacture 75000 AK203 assault rifles AK47 derivative to replace indigenous INSAS

File image of an AK-203 rifle. ANI

After the rifles are supplied to the defence forces, the government, in the next phase, would provide them to paramilitary and the state police forces. There is a possibility that 15 to 20 years down the line, all the forces would be using this assault rifle as their standard weapon.

Apart from this, the Defence Ministry has already signed a contract with American Sig Sauer for the supply of 7.69mm 59 calibre advanced assault rifles. These would be given to soldiers directly engaged in counter-insurgency and other operations.

The idea behind having two different assault rifles is that the troops who are engaged regularly in combat with terrorists or Pakistan Army on the Line of Control, should have very advanced weapons while the others can also have an advanced rifle which is lighter and can meet all the requirements.

After a string of complaints on INSAS rifles were received from ground troops deployed across the country on all frontiers, India about 10 years ago had started looking for new rifles for its infantry troops but the efforts could not materialise due to retraction of tenders issued for the purpose over different issues.

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