The Security Committee of the Indian government gave the final approval to an agreement worth about 670 million dollars to manufacture the assault rifle in the town of Korwa, in the Indian state of Uttra Pradesh, The Hindu newspaper reported.
In doing so, India seeks to boost self-sufficiency in defense manufacturing, a government source said.
The 7.62mm-caliber AK-203 will replace Insas rifles (Indian National Small Arms System, which consists of an assault rifle, a light machine gun and a carbine) introduced more than three decades ago.
“They will improve the effectiveness of the Indian army in counter-insurgency and terrorism operations,” the source added.
The project will be implemented by the Indo-Russian Rifles Private venture, in conjunction with Advanced Weapons and Equipment India, Munitions India Limited and Russia’s Rosoboronexport and Kalashnikov consortiums.