A gun-manufacturing plant in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi to make over five lakh high-powered AK-203 rifles has been cleared by the centre. The plant that will come up in Amethi's Korwa will add to India's self-reliance in defence manufacturing, the government said in a statement, adding the project will create jobs and help medium and small enterprises with order for raw material supplies.
India will partner with Russia, from where the original AK-47 came, in manufacturing the modern AK-203.
This assault rifle fires the much larger 7.62 mm rounds that has better penetrating power, while similar rifles with less stopping power fires the smaller 5.56 mm rounds.
The AK-203 assault rifles will replace the INSAS rifles that have been in service for over three decades. The modern version of the Russian-origin rifle has an effective range of 300 metres or more than three football fields, is lightweight and robust.
The modern technology used in the new rifles will enable them to use hi-tech add-ons like special sights and grips, useful for special forces missions. The assault rifles will enhance operational effectiveness of the Indian Army in counter insurgency and counter-terrorism operations, the government said in the statement.
The project will be run by a joint venture, Indo-Russian Rifles Pvt Ltd, or IRRPL. It has been created with the erstwhile Ordnance Factory Board, now called Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Ltd, Munitions India Ltd and Rosoboronexport of Russia.
Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Z Irani is an MP from Amethi Lok Sabha constituency. She has also inaugurated several social welfare and infrastructure projects in Amethi. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was Amethi MP before he was defeated in the 2019 general election.