In a big boost to self-reliance in the defence sector, over five lakh AK-203 rifles will be manufactured in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi, government sources told CNBC-TV18 on Saturday.
“The government has approved the plan for the production of over five lakh AK-203 assault rifles at Korwa, Amethi UP. It reflects the ever-increasing paradigm shift in defence acquisition from buy (global) to Make in India. This endeavour will be done in partnership with Russia and reflects the deepening partnership between the two countries in the defence sector,” the sources said.
The project is expected to provide business opportunities to various micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and other defence industries for the supply of raw materials and components, which will lead to generation of employment. The project marks a significant stride towards making UP a key contributor to the ascendant defence manufacturing prowess of India, they said.
AK-203 assault rifles
The 7.62 X 39mm caliber AK-203 rifles will replace in-service INSAS Rifle inducted over three decades back. With an effective range of 300 meters, the new rifles are light weight, robust and easy-to-use with technology that will enhance the combat potential of soldiers to adequately meet operational challenges. They will enhance the operational effectiveness of the Indian Army in counter insurgency/counter terrorism operations, according to the government sources.
The project will be implemented by a special purpose Joint Venture called Indo-Russian Rifles Private Ltd (IRRPL). It has been created with erstwhile OFB