News sources internationally are saying that, ahead a state visit from Putin himself, the Indian Defence Ministry has cleared final procurement and ramp up of domestic production of the AK-203 for the Indian Army.
Several thousand rifles are set to be purchased COTS, Commercial Off The Shelf, with the first 70,000 set to have at least some Russian components internally. The remaining rifles of the total approximately 750,000 rifles will be domestically produced. The AK-203 is a 7.62×39 fully modernized AK variant. New sturdier optics mounting surfaces and upgraded ergonomics around the core of the long stroke piston Kalashnikov heart. Similar in scope to the SOPMOD kit for the M4A1.
This will complete a modernization effort by the Indian Army to get themselves clear of the INSAS. The domestically developed INSAS has had a less than stellar service record, like the British SA80 (Before the A1 variants), and this is their fix. AKs and 7.62x51mm AR-10’s. The total puts it about 900,000 rifles for the military at about a 6:1 ratio AK to AR.
The AK-203 to Enter Indian Army Service joining the SIG716i is written by Keith Finch for gatdaily.com