The Indian Army is focusing on indigenous military technologies said Army Chief General Manoj Pande on Thursday replying to Financial Express Online while addressing media ahead of the Army Day on January 15. He added that the Army will receive the first batch of AK-203 rifle delivery by March 2023.
He said, “Out of the 6 lakh plus AK -203 assault rifles, we will receive the 70,000 within 32 months, he said. The indigenous content in these will be from the range of 5 -17 percent. Rest will be 100 percent indigenous.”
In 2019, India and Russia signed an intergovernmental agreement to set-up Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited– a joint venture to manufacture the AK-203 rifles. The project was announced by Indian PM Modi to produce new generation assault rifles for the Indian Armed Forces which will replace the existing Indian Small Arms System (INSAS).
The AK-203 is a Russian assault rifle that is based on the AK-74M. It is chambered in 7.62x39mm and features a number of improvements over the original AK-74 design, such as a side-folding polymer stock, an improved fire control system, and a Picatinny rail for mounting optics.