Interview with Maria VOROBIEVA, Director for Public Relations of Kalashnikov, Russia, to Defenseworld.net
1. What are? the unique features of the AK203 rifle of Kalashnikov?
The AK-203 is chambered for 7.62x39 mm adopted by the Russian Army. The assault rifle has
successfully passed all tests for this weapon type in Russia. The AK-203 features the latest
technology in small arms and yet builds upon the advantages of a legendary Kalashnikov rifle:
reliability, durability and simplicity in operation.
AK-203 rifle is equipped with a variety of add-ons to increase its accuracy and versatility. For
example, it comes with integrated Picatinny rails to accept optic, collimator, night and thermal
imaging scopes, infrared illuminators and designators, tactical lights and other equipment
required for deployment of the weapon under conditions, including limited visibility. In
addition, ergonomic solutions implemented in the rifle reduce the time the shooter spends on
handling the weapon.
2. What countries/regions has the AK203 been sold to or you are in negotiations with?
Though the Russian government issued an export permit for the AK-203 assault rifle just a few
years ago, since then quite a few countries across the world have procured it. Specific end users
cannot be disclosed, but there are users of the AK-203 among the CIS (Commonwealth of
Independent States) and Asian nations.
3. What are the experiences of the Russian military with the AK203 and have these experiences
been incorporated in its design and technology?
Russian defense forces were the first to purchase the AK-203 assault rifles. According to the
Russian military equipment quality standards, all military products, including assault rifles,
undergo extensive tests, and any procurement becomes possible only upon successful
completion of such tests and positive feedback from all end users.
4. What is the status of the AK203 contract with India?
Indo-Russian joint venture IRRPL submitted technical and commercial bids to the Ministry of
defense of India. The joint venture partners have finalized the price, indigenization plans,
recruitment issues, etc. We are looking forward for the Indian Government to approve the
proposal and sign the contract with the IRPPL.
5. How will manufacturing the AK203 add value to the make-in-India program?
The project is truly unique from the point of view of Make-in-India. The Russian stakeholders of IRRPL will ensure 100% AK-203 technology transfer to India. Localization will start from the very early stages and over time the AK-203 rifle will be manufactured in India including spares with materials sourced from local manufacturers.
6. What about the technical production base and the experience of Kalashnikov in the licensed production with India?
The objective of “Kalashnikov” is to ensure top quality production of AK-203 riffles in India utilizing the vast experience and potential gained by India’s defense industry. Russian experts
visited many existing production facilities to collect relevant information on available technologies. We have been very specific about quality control in equipment and tooling as the rifles produced in India are to be of the same quality as the ones produced in Russia. It will surely be a unique example of how integrated our approach to industrial cooperation and ToT