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AK 203

8th July, 2024 Security

AK 203

Source: FE

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  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming visit to Moscow underscores the strategic importance of Indo-Russian defense cooperation. The successful delivery highlights India's progress towards self-reliance in defense manufacturing.


  • The project is prominent for its adherence to the principles of Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan. The initiative has not only ensured the production of AK-203 rifles in India but also involved comprehensive technology transfer.
  • This move supports 100 percent localization of the AK-203 production, marking a significant step towards self-reliance in defense technology.
  • The Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL), a joint venture between India and Russia, has successfully delivered 35,000 AK-203 Kalashnikov assault rifles to the Indian Army.

About AK-203:

  • The AK-203, the latest variant in the renowned AK (Avtomat Kalashnikova) series, represents a significant milestone in modernizing the Indian armed forces.
  • Designed for reliability, ease of use, and adaptability, the AK-203 is a joint venture between India and Russia, aiming to replace the aging INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) rifles used by Indian military and paramilitary forces.
  • The joint venture plans to ensure 100% localization of the production of AK-203 rifles in India.
  • India is the first country outside Russia which has started the production of the AK-200 series assault rifles.


  • The INSAS rifles, introduced in the 1990s, have faced criticism over the years for various issues such as jamming, magazine cracking, and lack of reliability in harsh conditions.
  • The need for a more full-bodied and reliable weapon led India to explore alternatives, culminating in the decision to adopt the AK-203.

Technical Specifications

  • Caliber: 7.62x39mm
  • Weight: Approximately 3.8 kg (without magazine)
  • Barrel Length: 415 mm
  • Effective Range: 300-400 meters
  • Rate of Fire: 600 rounds per minute
  • Magazine Capacity: 30 rounds

State-of-the-Art Production Facilities

  • To achieve this milestone, all necessary equipment was shipped to the Korwa Ordnance Factory in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh.
  • The production facilities have been fully equipped with state-of-the-art machinery and technology, enabling the manufacturing of high-quality assault rifles.
  • The collaboration between Indian and Russian entities has been instrumental in setting up these facilities.

Features of the AK-203 Assault Rifle

  • The AK-203 assault rifle is a modern version of the AK-200 series, chambered for the 62×39mm cartridge.
  • This rifle retains the traditional advantages of Kalashnikov rifles, including reliability and ease of maintenance, making it a suitable choice for the Indian Army.
  • The manufacturing process in India uses exclusive Russian technologies and certified equipment, ensuring that the rifles meet high-quality standards and perform as expected in various operational conditions.


The AK-203 is poised to become the backbone of the Indian infantry, replacing the outdated INSAS rifles and significantly enhancing the operational capabilities of the armed forces. This modern assault rifle embodies the spirit of Indo-Russian cooperation and India's drive towards self-reliance in defense production.



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Q. Critically examine the potential benefits and drawbacks of inducting the AK-203, and discuss alternative options India might consider to modernize its infantry