In a big boost to self-reliance in defence manufacturing in India, an Indo-Russian venture to manufacture over five lakh AK-203 assault rifles will be set up at Korwa in Amethi district of Uttar Pradesh.
The joint Indo-Russian venture has been approved by the Government of India. The proposed project reflects the ever increasing paradigm shift in defence acquisition from buy (global) to ‘Make in India’.
The joint venture will provide business opportunities to various micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and other defence industries for supply of raw material and components, leading to generation of new employment opportunities.
The project marks a significant stride towards making Uttar Pradesh a key contributor in the defence manufacturing prowess of India. With this, the much ambitious project of Uttar Pradesh government to establish a Defence Manufacturing Corridor in the state has also come a long way.
The 7.62 X 39 mm caliber AK-203 rifles will replace the in-service INSAS rifles inducted over three decades back for Army and paramilitary personnel. With an effective range of 300 metres, the AK-203 assault rifles are light weight, robust and easy to use modern assault rifles with proven technology that will enhance the combat potential of soldiers to adequately meet present and envisaged operational challenges. They will enhance the operational effectiveness of the Indian Army and para-military forces in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.
The project will be implemented by a special purpose joint venture called Indo-Russian Rifles Private Ltd (IRRPL). It has been created with the erstwhile OFB, now Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWEIL) and Munitions India Limited (MIL) of India and Rosoboronexport (RoE) and Kalashnikov of Russia.