KALASHNIKOV ASSAULT RIFLES
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Context: An Indo-Russian joint venture has started manufacturing Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi, a move that will lend greater firepower to the Indian armed forces.
- Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited plans to ensure 100 per cent localisation of the production of AK-203 rifles in India.
- The joint venture, registered and located in India, whose founders on the Russian side are Rosoboronexport and Kalashnikov Concern (both subsidiaries of the Rostec State Corporation), has started producing Kalashnikov assault rifles
- Korwa Ordnance Factory in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, has produced the first batch of 7.62 mm Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles
- As per the contract, over 6.1 lakh AK-203 assault rifles costing over ₹5,000 crore will be manufactured by a Joint Venture, Indo-Russian Rifles Private Ltd (IRRPL), at Korwa, Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
- IRRPL was set up jointly between erstwhile OFB [now Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWEIL) and Munitions India Limited (MIL)] of India and Rosoboronexport (RoE) and concern Kalashnikov of Russia.
Why AK 203 assault rifles?
- AK-203 assault rifle is considered to be the latest and most advanced version of the AK-47 rifle.
- It is a 7.62×39mm variant from the AK-100 rifle family (one that offers the AK-74M system, in multiple cartridges and lengths).
- This variant is expected to replace the Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) 5.56×45 mm assault rifle, that are presently being used by Army, Navy and the Air Force besides other security forces.
- INSAS rifles are not suitable for use at high altitude. Several other issues with these rifles include gun jamming, oil leakage etc.