India Approves JV with Russian Firm for Production of 7.5 Lac Assault Rifles

The government of India has approved a proposal for the joint production of approximately 7.47 Lakh assault rifles for the Indian Army. India’s Ordnance Factory Board entered into a joint venture with a Russian Firm for production of the assault rifles. 

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Indian News Agency confirmed that the Centre has cleared a proposal for the joint production of 7.47 lakh Kalashnikov series assault rifles by the Ordnance Factory Board and Russian Joint venture firm. “The plant for the same will be set up near Amethi in Uttar Pradesh”, the reports added.

The media reports emphasised saying, “an intergovernmental agreement for a joint venture between Russia’s Kalashnikov Concern and Ordnance Factory Board is expected to be signed later this week”. The joint venture is in response to Ministry of Defence (MoD)’s Request for Information (RFI) for procurement of 650,000 assault rifles of 7.62×39 mm caliber under ‘Make in India’ program.

“As part of the deal around 50,000 assault rifles will be handed over to India once the joint venture is inked”, said the sources in interaction with media. Since the Indo-Russia summit held in the month of October, Russia has been pushing for signing this deal.

Both countries approved the formation of Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission on military and military-technical cooperation to ensure closer cooperation in the defence sector. Last year in the month of December, it was decided that the Kalashnikovs will be made in India under Make in India initiative of the government. Indian Defence Minister met her Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu regarding the same.

The deal with Russia will provide modern weaponry to the infantry division of the Indian  Army in guarding long stretches of borders close to Pakistan and China. In order to modernise the infantry, India has signed the contract with the US for the assault rifles which are already being used by armed forces in the US and several European countries. The assault rifles can increase the efficiency of the Indian Army in particular and also equip troops deployed in areas on the border with China.

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