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Business News/ News / India/  India finalises deal with Russia to immediately procure AK-103 rifles
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India finalises deal with Russia to immediately procure AK-103 rifles

The Army is implementing a mega infantry modernisation programme under which a large number of light machine guns

In October 2017, the Indian Army began the process to acquire around seven lakh rifles, 44,000 light machine guns (LMGs) and nearly 44,600 carbines.Premium
In October 2017, the Indian Army began the process to acquire around seven lakh rifles, 44,000 light machine guns (LMGs) and nearly 44,600 carbines.

As part of mega infantry modernisation programme, India is procuring a sizable number of AK-103 series of assault rifles for the Indian Army from Russia. A deal has ben 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.

This comes four years after the Army began the process to acquire around seven lakh rifles, 44,000 light machine guns and nearly 44,600 carbines in 2017. 

In September last year, New Delhi and Moscow inked a major deal for manufacturing AK-47 203 rifles in India.

The AK-47 203 is the latest and most advanced version of the AK-47 rifle, which will replace the Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) 5.56x45 mm assault rifle.

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.

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Published: 20 Aug 2021, 09:48 PM IST
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