India to procure AK-103 rifles from Russia


In a bid to proceed for the mission to modernisation programme in the infantry, India is procuring a sizable number of AK-103 series of assault rifles for the Indian Army from Russia.


A deal has been finalised under the provisions of emergency procurement, news agency PTI reported on Friday. 


Under the modernization plan, the army is purchasing a large number of light machine guns, battle carbines and assault rifles to replace its ageing and obsolete weapons. 


“A deal has been finalised with Russia for direct purchase of a batch of AK-103 series of assault rifles,” a source told the news agency. He, however, did not disclose the number of rifles or the cost of procurement.


The rifles are being procured under the emergency financial powers granted to the three services to make urgent purchases, the report said citing two officials familiar with the matter.


At the time of finalising the deal, it was reported that the Indian Army has a requirement for around 770,000 AK-47 203 rifles, of which 100,000 would be imported and the rest will be manufactured in India.


In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said: “Both sides welcomed the advance stage of discussions for the establishment in India of an India-Russian Joint Venture for the production of AK203 assault rifles which are considered one of the most modern weapons available for infantry forces”.


This provides a very positive basis for further engagement of Russian defence industry in the ”Make-in-India” programme, it said. “Gen. Shoigu reiterated commitment of the Russian side to engage actively with our MOD to ensure the success of the ”Make-in-India” programme,” the statement added.