On the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow, the Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL), a joint venture between India and Russia, announced that it has delivered indigenously produced 35,000 AK-203 assault rifles to the Indian Army.

The Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifle is a version of the AK-200 rifle chambered for the 7.62x39mm cartridge used by the Indian Army. The weapon has the traditional advantages of Kalashnikov assault rifles, which is reliability and ease of maintenance.

“The IRRPL joint venture, co-founded by Roboronexport on the Russian side, has completed the first phase of the project to produce AK-203 Kalashnikov assault rifles in India. To increase the degree of localisation, all necessary equipment has been shipped to the Korwa Ordnance Factory in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh state, and production facilities are now fully equipped,” said Alexander Mikheev, Director General of Roboronexport in a statement on Friday.

“This made it possible to produce and deliver a batch of 35,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles to the Indian Army within the timeframe agreed with the Ministry of Defence of India,” Alexander Mikheev observed.

Overall, Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited is expected to manufacture more than 600,000 rifles at its Amethi facility, Uttar Pradesh, for consumption by the armed forces. The production began last year, with indigenous content in the rifle expected to grow upwards from 5 per cent, which was for the first batch of 5,000 rifles, to 100 per cent in due course of time to give complete exposure and business opportunities to the domestic industry besides having “Made in India” gun .

The Roboronexport said in its statement that AK-203s are manufactured in India in compliance with exclusive Russian technologies on certified equipment. This ensures high product quality and compliance with the stated characteristics, it added.