Following the Army’s technical clearance and a commercial bid likely to be submitted by next month, the rifles factory in Amethi which was inaugurated in March is all set to receive an order to manufacture 6.7 lakh Kalashnikov assault rifles soon.
The joint venture Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited for production of AK 203 assault rifles is all set to get an approval at an acquisition meeting later this month and will move to the subsequent stage of the inking of the contract to start manufacturing.
Initially, during the first phase, 6.7 lakh rifles will be manufactured for the Army and the count will soar to at least 7.5 lakh depending on the requirements of other forces. The technology transfer clause of the deal will be fulfilled after the first one lakh rifles are manufactured, following which all components of the weapon system will be produced in India. The project is expected to produce AK 203 rifles that will cost about $1000 each.
Though the Amethi factory was officially inaugurated earlier in March, it was yet to get orders as they had to go through the acquisition process of negotiating technical and commercial terms. As per sources, the deal inked with Russia mandates complete transfer of technology on modern assault rifles to India.
Hailing the joint venture, a top Army officer said that it is an epitome of how India has gained technology transfer through planned acquisitions. The joint venture for manufacturing of Kalashnikov rifles has been acclaimed as one of the ‘fastest’ ones brought about by Russia for an Indian venture.
In addition to this, the factory is getting operational with the supplied equipment to manufacture weapons and armaments procured. Besides, a serving Major General from the Army is been assigned the job of supervising the development.