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Exigent procurement disrupts rifles to be made in India

27th August 2021 - 01:38 GMT | by Neelam Mathews in Delhi

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The 7.62mm AK-203 assault rifle that weighs 3.8kg features Picatinny rails and a folding and adjustable buttstock. (Rosoboronexport)

India is taking so long to set up indigenous rifle production that it has been forced to buy directly from overseas.

The Indian Army’s Infantry Directorate has an overdue requirement for new assault rifles. Instead of producing them locally, the MoD has ordered an emergency procurement of 70,000 AK-203 7.62 x 39mm assault rifles to replace inadequate in-service INSAS 5.56mm weapons.

Delivery of the Russian-made rifles is to start by year’s end.

Compared to the troubled INSAS, the AK-203 is lighter, has a longer range, can attach an under-barrel grenade launcher, and uses polymer components that help with weight reduction.

The procurement is being made despite a JV – called Indo Russian Rifles Pvt Ltd – between the Ordnance Factory Board

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Neelam Mathews

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Neelam Mathews


Neelam Mathews was born in India and completed her education in London.

She has written for …

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