Russian AK203 Assault Rifle in Use with C.I.S., Asian Nations

  • 06:48 AM, October 21, 2021
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Russian AK203 Assault Rifle in Use with C.I.S., Asian Nations
AK-203 assault rifle @Rosoboronexport

Interview with Maria VOROBIEVA, Director for Public Relations of Kalashnikov, Russia, to

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 testsfor 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.

Russian AK203 Assault Rifle in Use with C.I.S., Asian Nations
AK-203 assault rifle @Rosoboronexport

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 spareswith 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 rifflesin 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 riffles 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 can be.

Earlier, various Indian media reported that Russia has agreed to provide ToT and waived a royalty clause that meant royalty for each rifle manufactured in India. With this, the project to manufacture the AK-103 at a new factory in India has been cleared the final hurdle, the reports said.

The contract is worth Rs 5,124 crore ( $680 million)  will lead to the import of 70,000 rifles from Russia while 6,01,427 will be produced by an OFB-Kalashnikov joint venture.


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