Made in Amethi fire power - PM at foundation event. File pic

Amethi plant to fire 5 lakh AK 203 assault rifles

Will replace the 30-yr-old in-service INSAS

The project signals growing defence partnership between India and Russia, especially in the backdrop of a belligerent China and the changing geopolitics in the Af-Pak theatre

By VIRENDRA SINGH RAWAT

LUCKNOW, Dec 4 (The CONNECT) - Setting a template for indigenisation of defence production in India, the proposed Indo-Russian joint venture in Amethi district will manufacture more than half-a-million pieces of AK-203 assault rifles.

The project will be implemented by a special purpose vehicle (SPV) called Indo-Russian Rifles Private Ltd (IRRPL). The unit is coming up at Korwa, Amethi, in the Central UP region.

The joint venture is being set up by Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWEIL) and Munitions India Limited (MIL) of India and Rosoboronexport (RoE) and Kalashnikov Concern of Russia. Kalashnikov Concern produces nearly 95 percent of small arms in Russia and supplies to more than 27 countries.

The 7.62 mm x 39 mm caliber AK-203 rifles will replace the in-service INSAS rifle inducted three decades back.

AK-203 rifles, with an effective range of 300 meters, are light weight, robust and easy to use ‘Modern Assault Rifles’ with proven technology that will enhance the combat potential of soldiers to adequately meet present and envisaged operational challenges.

“These rifles will boost the operational effectiveness of the Indian Army in counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations,” a state government spokesperson said here on Saturday.

The project signals growing defence partnership between India and Russia, especially in the backdrop of a belligerent China and the changing geopolitics in the Af-Pak theatre.

“The AK-203 rifle project marks a significant stride towards making UP a key contributor in the defence manufacturing prowess of India,” the spokesperson said.

While unveiling the project, PM Narendra Modi had said in March 2019 that the AK 203 rifles 'Made in Amethi' will definitely enhance the strength of our soldiers during their encounters with the terrorists and Naxalites. “Now lakhs of these rifles will be manufactured in the factory of Amethi. The rifles manufactured here will be exported to other countries of the world in the future,” Modi had said.

Therefore, this factory of Amethi is going to open up employment opportunities for the youngsters and is going to open up a new path for development and security of the country.

UP is also promoting its Defence Corridor spread over six districts.

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