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Russia, India ink deal on delivery of 600,000 Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles

India can become the first foreign country to produce Kalashnikov assault rifles of the latest 200th series

MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. /TASS/. Russia and India have signed a contract on the delivery of over 600,000 7.62mm AK-203 assault rifles that will be produced on India’s soil to the republic’s Defense Ministry, the Kalashnikov firearms manufacturer told TASS on Monday.

"Today, on December 6, a contract was signed as part of a meeting of the defense ministers of Russia and India on the delivery of over 600,000 AK-203 assault rifles produced in India to the Defense Ministry of India," the Kalashnikov press office informed.

Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) is opening a new page in Russian-Indian military-technical cooperation, Kalashnikov CEO Vladimir Lepin said.

"Russian and Indian specialists have carried out large-scale preparatory work over three years to optimize the project’s price and technological parameters. Now that the contract has been signed, we are ready to start the production of advanced AK-203s in the town of Korwa in the coming months," the Kalashnikov press office quoted the chief executive as saying.

Arranging Kalashnikov assault rifle production on India’s soil

Head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugayev told the Rossiya-24 TV Channel on Monday that the deliveries would fully meet the requirements of the Indian Army.

"But the most important thing is that India will gain competencies in the production of small arms with the help of Russian partners," he stressed.

Russia is ready to arrange the local production of the advanced assault rifle that is not inferior to foreign rivals and even outshines them by many parameters and therefore this is a major event for the Russian industry as well, he said.

"The AK-203 is one of our latest automatic weapons. It has been tested for a long time and the Indian partners have been quite meticulous in choosing the proper model and have opted for the AK-203," the defense official said.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced plans in early March 2019 to set up an Indo-Russian joint venture for the production of Kalashnikov assault rifles in the country. The joint venture IRRPL for the manufacture of AK-203 assault rifles has been established at a production facility in the town of Korwa of the Amethi district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Therefore, India can become the first foreign country to produce Kalashnikov assault rifles of the latest 200th series.