India’s Ishapore rifle factory has successfully designed an assault rifle based on the Russian AK-47.
According to reports, the prototype of this weapon had successfully cleared field trials by the Army, the Indian Air Force and the Sashastra Seema Bal.
The Ishapore factory will soon start production of 50,000 units of this rifle in the first phase, The Times of India said in its report.
Known of being sturdy and dependable, the AK-47, developed by Kalashnikov, can fire 600 bullets a minute and is so easy to handle that Soviet schoolchildren were taught to assemble it with their eyes closed.
According to Rosoboronexport, black market sale and development of the AK-47 have been so widespread that over 100 million assault rifles have sold worldwide, half of them are counterfeit.
Kalashnikov has faced an uphill battle, losing an estimated $400 million to $500 million a year from counterfeit AK-47 makers, the gun-maker said earlier this year.
During the cold war, the Soviet Union awarded AK-47 licenses to 18 countries including China, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, East Germany and Egypt.