6 Dec 2021 18:16

Contract on Russian-Indian JV envisions manufacturing of 600,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles - Kalashnikov Group

MOSCOW. Dec 6 (Interfax) - Russia and India have signed a contract for the joint manufacturing of over 600,000 AK-203 assault rifles at a factory in the city of Korwa, Uttar Pradesh, Kalashnikov Group said on Monday.

"A contract was signed today, on December 6, during a meeting between the Russian and Indian defense ministers in Delhi on the delivery of over 600,000 AK-203 assault rifles manufactured in India to the Indian Defense Ministry," it said.

The contract stipulates that the localization of the production of assault rifles in India should reach 100% in the future.

Kalashnikov Group CEO Vladimir Lepin said AK-203s should start being manufactured in India within the next few months.

"Russian and Indian specialists have done a substantial preparatory work for three years to optimize the price and technological parameters of the project. Now that the contract has been signed, we stand ready to begin manufacturing modern AK-203s in the city of Korwa within the next few months," Kalashnikov quoted Lepin as saying.

The Hindustan Times said in its Monday issue that India and Russia concluded an agreement on the joint production of over 500,000 AK-203 assault rifles valued at over $677 million.

Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh earlier welcomed the signing of a number of military agreements and contracts with Russia, including those concerning small arms.

"Glad that a number of Agreements/Contracts/Protocols were signed pertaining to small arms and military cooperation," Singh said on Twitter .

He described his negotiations with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as "productive, fruitful, and substantial."

India is one of the principal buyers of Russian weapons. The volume of weapons orders currentlty placed by India with Russia is about $15 billion. Since 1991, India has ordered about $70 billion worth of weapons from Russia, the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) said.

As reported officially, a contract was signed on the sidelines of Russian-Indian top-level negotiations in early October 2018 for the delivery of S-400 Triumph air defense missile systems (the Almaz-Antey Air and Space Defense Corporation). Under the contract worth in total $5.43 billion, India should receive five regiment kits of S-400 systems.

Rosoboronexport CEO Alexander Mikheyev said on November 15 that Russia started shipping S-400 air defense missile systems to India ahead of schedule and that the first regiment kit would be delivered by the end of the year.

India currently assembles Russian T-90S tanks and Sukhoi Su-30MKI fourth-generation fighter aircraft under Russian licenses. India and Russia are working together on the BrahMos-2 hypersonic missile. Joint ventures have been set up together with Rostec's holdings in India to manufacture AK-203 Kalashnikov assault rifles and Kamov Ka-226T helicopters. The two countries also plan to start the licensed production of Igla-S man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS).

Russia also expects to sign contacts with India soon to supply it with extra shipments of MiG-29 and Su-30 fighters and Ka-31 helicopters and to modernize aircraft supplied to India earlier.