Indo-Russia Rifles

Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) is a rifle-manufacturing facility in Korwa, Amethi district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The factory will manufacture the AK-203 variant of the Kalashnikov family of rifles. The factory is a joint-venture of the Ordnance Factory Board of India and Kalashnikov Concern of Russia, with Rosoboronexport holding a minority stake and will produce 750,000 AK-203s, a 7.62×39mm variant from the AK-100 family.[1]

Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited
IndustryDefence
Headquarters,
India
ProductsSmall arms
Owners

OwnershipEdit

The factory is a joint venture between three companies. The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) owns the controlling stakes of 50.5% while Kalashnikov owns 42% stake followed by 7.5% stake owned by Rosonboronexport. An Indian CEO from the Indian Army leads the company.[2] The Army has appointed Major General Sanjeev Sengar as the Chief Executive Officer.[3]

BackgroundEdit

Since the late 1950s, the Indian armed forces had been equipped with a locally produced licensed copy[4] of the L1A1 self-loading rifles.[5] In mid-1980s, the decision was taken to develop a 5.56×45mm NATO calibre rifle to replace the obsolete rifles. Trials on various prototypes based on the AKM were carried out by the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) in Pune. On the completion of the trial, The Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) was adopted in 1990, becoming the standard issue assault rifle of the Indian infantry. However, to phase out the still in use bolt-action Lee–Enfield rifles as quickly as possible, India had to acquire 100,000 7.62×39mm AKM-type rifles from Russia, Hungary, Romania and Israel in 1990–92.[6]

The INSAS was initially built with features borrowed from several different rifles and was not made to meet the specific requirements of the Indian security forces. This amalgamated design while serving the Army for over 30 years, has started to fall behind the needs of modern warfare.[7] In recent years the rifle has come under increasing scrutiny, with several issues, surfacing from frontline forces that have inhibited operational capabilities. For example, the plastic magazine of the rifle has repeatedly cracked under cold weather conditions and has reportedly even overheated during long battles leading to malfunctions, making it an unreliable choice for a standard issue rifle.[8] Due to these repeated downfalls, In April 2015, the Indian government even had to replace some INSAS rifles of the CRPF with AKM variants to ensure greater success in the CRPF's fight against Naxalites.[9] Therefore, owing to these failures and the changing needs of the armed forces, it was announced in early 2017 that the INSAS rifles would be retired and replaced by a weapon capable of firing the larger 7.62×51mm NATO cartridges.[10]

As part of the replacement process, the new Kalashnikov rifle was to be made in a joint venture production facility located in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh.[11] The factory manufactures the AK-203 variant of the Kalashnikov family of rifles, which along with the SIG716, manufactured by United States-based SIG Sauer will replace the INSAS rifles as well as the AK-47s.[12] The first batch of 10,000 SIG Sauer rifles were delivered in December 2019.[13]

ProductEdit

The IRRPL has been licensed to produce 750,000 AK-203 assault rifles chambered for 7.62×39mm. The AK-203 is a modernized 200 series AK-103 variant and one of the modern derivatives of the Russian AK-Pattern series of assault rifles. The 200 series are technically based on the AK-100 family and the more expensive AK-12 rifle family.[14] The AK-203 is reported as the latest and most advanced version of the most abundant firearm in the world, the AK-47 assault rifle.[15]

During the Defence Expo 2020 in Lucknow, Major General Sengar announced that the IRRPL facility in Amethi would produce 75,000 AK-203 annually for 10 years.

Product specifications for the AK-203:

  • 3.8 kg mass (without accessories and an empty magazine)
  • 400 m effective range
  • 700 r/min firing rate
  • 415 mm barrel length
  • collapsible buttstock
  • 943 mm total length and 704 mm with the stock folded
  • 30 round standard plastic magazine.[16]

It was announced that 670,000 AK-203 rifles will be produced for the Indian military.[17]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ PHILIP, SNEHESH ALEX (31 August 2020). "India and Russia set to close deal for over 6 lakh AK 203 rifles, production to start soon". The Print. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  2. ^ Philip, Snehesh Alex (3 March 2019). "PM Modi inaugurates Indo-Russian joint venture, which will end Army's long quest for rifles". The Print. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  3. ^ Philip, Snehesh Alex (5 July 2019). "Army chief's new experiment — Major General is CEO of AK-203 rifle factory in Amethi". ThePrint. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  4. ^ "UK and Commonwealth FALs, by R. Blake Stevens, Collector Grade Publications, 1980, pages 231–233
  5. ^ Charles Q. Cutshaw (28 February 2011). Tactical Small Arms of the 21st Century: A Complete Guide to Small Arms From Around the World. Gun Digest Books. p. 207. ISBN 1-4402-2482-X. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  6. ^ John Walter (25 March 2006). Rifles of the World. Krause Publications. pp. 209–210. ISBN 0-89689-241-7. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  7. ^ Datta, Saikat. "Why is the Indian Army still using outdated assault rifles designed in the 1980s?". Scroll.in. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  8. ^ Beckhusen, Robert (31 August 2016). "India's Anti-Terror Troops Despise Their Assault Rifle". Medium. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  9. ^ "AK-47s to arm CRPF to teeth". Daily Pioneer. 25 April 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  10. ^ "INSAS rifles to retire; to be replaced by imported weapons". The Economic Times. 5 March 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  11. ^ "In Amethi, PM Modi To Dedicate A Firm For Manufacturing AK Assault Rifles". NDTV. ANI. 22 March 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  12. ^ Shukla, Ajai. "PM Modi inaugurates India-Russia JV to build Kalashnikov rifles in Amethi". Business Standard (4 March 2019). Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  13. ^ Negi, Manjeet Singh (11 December 2019). "Indian Army received first batch American assault rifles for operations in Jammu and Kashmir". India Today. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  14. ^ "200 series Kalashnikov assault rifle: AK-200, AK-201, AK-202, AK-203, AK-204, AK-205 (Russia)". modernfirearms.net.
  15. ^ "Explained: The new AK-203, and its legendary ancestor, the AK-47". The Indian Express. 5 March 2019. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  16. ^ "AK-203 to become organic assault rifle of Indian armed forces". www.armyrecognition.com. 14 February 2020. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  17. ^ Philip, Snehesh Alex (31 August 2020). "India and Russia set to close deal for over 6 lakh AK 203 rifles, production to start soon". ThePrint. Retrieved 25 September 2020.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 26°12′44″N 81°49′22″E / 26.21222°N 81.82278°E / 26.21222; 81.82278