India and Russia on Monday signed a much-awaited deal worth Rs 5100 crore for the production of AK-203 rifles. Under this agreement, India and Russia will jointly produce more than 5 lakh AK-203 rifles. These rifles will be made in a factory in Amethi district of Uttar Pradesh. The deal was finalized in a meeting between Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had approved this project only last week.
Some Features of AK-203 Rifle:
1. The 7.62 X 39mm caliber AK-203 rifles will replace the INSAS rifles that have been in use in the Army for more than three decades.
2. The modern version of this Russian-origin rifle can provide a range of 300 meters, or as much as three football fields. Not only this, the weight of these rifles is less and they are also strong.
3. This assault rifle fires larger rounds of 7.62 mm, while similar less powered rifles fire smaller 5.56 mm rounds.
4. With the modern technology present in the new rifles, they are also capable of using high-tech add-ons like special sights and grips. These add-ons come in handy for special forces missions.
5. The government has said that these assault rifles will enhance the strength of the Indian Army in insurgency and counter-insurgency operations.
6. The Uttar Pradesh government had said in a statement last Saturday that the central government has approved the production of AK-203 rifles in Korwa and it will start soon.
7. The AK-203 rifles will be manufactured under a joint venture called Indo-Russian Rifles Pvt Ltd. These include Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited and Munitions India Limited and Russia’s RosoboronExport and Kalashnikov.
8. This project is a joint venture with the Russian government under the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Modi government.
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