The final contract for the production of AK-203 Rifles in India is about to be concluded soon, according to the Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane in an interview with the Economic Times.
The Indian news source said that the Amethi factory to manufacture modern assault rifles for the Army is likely to get operationalised soon.
The contract of the joint venture between Kalashnikov and the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) stipulates 100% transfer of technology to India, and possibly exports in the future. This will give India full capacity "to manufacture modern assault rifles, given that the contract specifies that all of these need to be made completely in India from the first day," writes the Economic Times.
“Negotiations are at an advanced stage. There were some last-minute hitches and hiccups and those have been ironed out now. I hope the final contract will be signed soon,” said the Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane to the Economic Times.
This project has been in process for the past two years, it many different obstacles. 2020 was one main roadblock as differences in pricing and the travel restrictions caused by Covid-19 did not allow the Amethi AK-203 rifles factory to start last May as was planned.
The Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited is a rifle-manufacturing facility in Korwa, Amethi district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The factory is a joint venture between three companies. OFB owns the controlling stakes of 50.5%, Kalashnikov owns 42% stake, while Rosonboronexport owns a stake of 7.5%. An Indian CEO from the Indian Army leads the company.