Russia’s Rosoboronexport has pulled out from a tender of India’s Interior Ministry to purchase over 20,000 automatic rifles, as the specifications are of ‘outdated’ Kalashnikov weapons produced in Bulgaria.
A source in the Russian Military and Technical Cooperation was quoted as saying by TASS news agency Monday that the tender documentation is 99% for the outdated Kalashnikov 7.62 X 39 mm automatic rifles produced in Bulgaria under an expired Soviet license.
According to the source, among the tender’s specifications include the availability of a metal magazine whereas Russia has long ago given up this option in favor of more reliable plastic compound. Appliances for the assembly and disassembly of the trigger and firing mechanism, although this mechanism’s design in new Russian assault rifles of the hundredth series has been improved and no longer requires such an accessory and also steel folding butts whereas modern butt-stocks are made of composite materials.
A source in Rosoboronexport confirmed the state arms exporter’s withdrawal from the Indian Interior Ministry’s tenders for the purchase of automatic rifles, saying that Russia’s AK-103 submachine guns did not comply with the terms of the tenders.
In addition, the Kalashnikov Group said it was greatly surprised that old metal magazines were important for the purchasers from the Indian Interior Ministry, the Tass report said.
"They are less reliable and subject to rust in a hot climate. The entire world has long been switching over to plastic magazines," the Kalashnikov Group press office was quotd as saying by Tass.
"No doubt, the Indian side has the right to choose any arms for its law-enforcement, defense and security agencies. In turn, the Russian side has the full right not to act in the role of the tender’s marginal participant and so the refusal by Rosoboronexport to give up the tenders is a logical decision.”
But if the terms of the tenders are altered, we are ready to take part in them," the Kalashnikov Group press office said, as quoted by Tass.
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Russias arms exporter Rosoboronexport has signed seven contracts to export more than 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles in 2017, the companys CEO Aleksandr Mikheyev said on Tuesday. He however did not specify the countries or organizations which had signed up to buy the iconic assault rifles
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Reliance Defence and Engineering has considered to joint venture with Kalashnikov Israel for manufacturing Kalashnikov class of weapons for Indian armed forces. Kalashnikov Israel, a subsidiary of the CAA Company of Israel, has agreed to jointly make Kalashnikov and other small arms with Reliance Defence
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The Indian Army is likely to float a Request for Information (RFI) soon to buy some 10,000 light machine guns (LMG) as part of a program to procure LMGs, carbines and assault rifles costing nearly INR40,000 crore (US$6.1 Billion), news agency PTI reported today quoting unnamed sources
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