India is in the making of some crucial plans with Russia regarding the manufacture of the prominent Kalashnikov rifles for the Indian Army. Down the line it has changed the specifications by which Ak-103 can now be used for particular purposes.
Recently, after defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman concluded her visit to Russia, there have been intense discussions going around the corner about the course of action to be taken. The decision that was finally made was to send a special team to Russia later this month, as some reliable source has informed ET.
The team will be headed by the Director General (Acquisitions) from the defence ministry who will also be accompanied by two representatives from the ordnance Factory Board. This visit is planned to observe and analyse the working of Kalashnikov.
India is pushing its best to make the project happen at the earliest so that the production could strike in the country. Russia on the other hand when extended the proposal last year; India could not accept it because of the under-served requirements of the Army.
Recently though, Army has put forward new specifications for a 7.62 calibre for its assault rifle and they will be importing a few of those ‘hi-tech rifles’ here for the army’s frontline troops. Apart from the imported ones, there will be a significant amount that is to be manufactured in the country itself. Altogether, the required order is expected to be in lakhs of units.
The AK-103 is supposed to be for the second category which will give cover to the forces in the hinterland and tackle insurgency operations.
These rifles are possible to be a part of the paramilitary forces in the future as well and have an important role to play in more than one category; sources aware of the details have informed ET.
As per the deal, Russia will have a Kalashnikov factory set up in India jointly operational with the OFB to meet and feed the needs of the military but the export would not have any restriction whatsoever.
Kalashnikov rifles will have a prodigious comeback in India with the setup of this project being already quite infamous for its lethal and popular variant; AK-47. One of the most deadly and popular rifles, these were taken into action when the army incorporated much needed upgrade after Pakistan-trained terrorists let loose on killing spree in Kashmir and rest of the India during the 90’s.
While preferred caliber for counter-insurgency operations has been 5.56mm to keep from the casualties getting worse, AK-103 is going to be a more destructive default option.
With a 500-metre range, 3.5 kg weight without magazine, equipping with night vision devices and different sights, this rifles is expected to be one of the badass weapons ever carried as compared to the indigenous 5.56-mm insas rifle weighs around 4 kg.