LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh is going to evolve as defence hub for India which will not only help in fulfilling the defence equipment demand of the country but will help in catering for the global need.
The government has approved a plan to produce over five lakh AK-203 assault rifles at Korwa, Amethi UP, in an effort to boost self-reliance in defence manufacturing in India. It illustrates the ongoing paradigm shift in defence purchasing from buying (globally) to Make in India. This endeavour will be undertaken in collaboration with Russia and symbolises the two countries’ growing defence alliance.
The project will give numerous MSMEs and other defence industries with commercial prospects for the supply of raw materials and components, resulting in the creation of new job opportunities. The project is a big step toward making Uttar Pradesh a vital contributor to India’s rising defence industrial prowess.
The 7.62 X 39mm calibre AK-203 Rifles will replace the INSAS Rifles that have been in service for nearly three decades. The AK-203 Assault Rifles, with an effective range of 300 metres, are lightweight, sturdy, and simple to use Modern Assault Rifles with proven technology that will improve soldiers’ fighting potential to meet current and anticipated operational problems. They will improve the Indian Army’s operational efficacy in counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism operations.
The project will be carried out by Indo-Russian Rifles Private Ltd, a special purpose Joint Venture (IRRPL). It was formed in collaboration with India’s former OFB [now Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWEIL) and Munitions India Limited (MIL)] and Russia’s Rosoboronexport (RoE) and company Kalashnikov.
What exactly is AK?
The renowned Mikhail Kalashnikov — the Red Army Lieutenant General who defended Russia against a German attack during World War II in 1947 — created the AK-47 assault weapon. Since then, the rifle has been dubbed “solider-friendly” all over the world. When compared to its competitors, the AK is the cheapest and best for close combat.
A Kalashnikov rifle is any of a series of automatic rifles based on Mikhail Kalashnikov’s original design. They are formally known as “Avtomat Kalashnikova” in Russian, but are often referred to as Kalashnikovs, AKs, or in Russian vernacular, as a “Kalash.” They were originally produced in the Soviet Union, but these rifles and derivatives are currently produced in a variety of different countries.
What does AK mean for India?
The goal of this project is to initially provide guns to the troops, and then progressively replace weapons used by paramilitary forces and central police forces with’made in India’ guns. This means that the country will soon have a weapon that is entirely built in India. This would not only make the assault rifle easier to get and maintain, but it will also position India as a major supplier of the weapon.
During the insurgency, AKM entered India. As the’most reliable’ gun, this assault rifle has been the top pick of men in action. The Rashtriya Rifles, an elite Indian paramilitary unit trained for counterinsurgency operations, is fully equipped with the Kalashnikov, which has shown to be effective. Even the elite Indian Marine Commandos (MarCos) carry Kalashnikovs.
According to a senior defence official, the Ak-47 has proven its worth on several occasions and is well-liked by forces. “This is the most dependable rifle, capable of operating in any weather situation.” “From Kashmir to the north-east and all the way to Chhattisgarh, this assault weapon can work in any terrain,” the official stated.
There is no exact statistic, but the Indian security services would have approximately 7-9 lakh AK type rifles. According to a preliminary estimate, approximately 7.5 million AK series rifles are in use worldwide. This gun is used by forces from over 100 countries, including Germany, Poland, Israel, North Korea, and the United States.