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  India   All India  04 Mar 2019  Putin hopes AK-203 rifles will help Indian security agencies

Putin hopes AK-203 rifles will help Indian security agencies

Published : Mar 4, 2019, 3:15 am IST
Updated : Mar 4, 2019, 3:15 am IST

The AK-203 will replace the INSAS rifles being used by the Army and other forces.

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Photo: AP)
 Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Photo: AP)

Amethi: The new joint venture between India and Russia to manufacture the Kalashnikov assault rifles’ 200 series will be able to fulfil Indian security agencies’ requirement for small arms, Russian President Vladmir Putin said in a message read out by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman here on Sunday.

Ms Sitharaman read out the message during an event of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi where he laid the foundation stone of a manufacturing unit for the AK-203 assault rifles. The AK-203 will replace the INSAS rifles being used by the Army and other forces. The immediate target is to produce 7,00,000 AK-203 rifles in the facility, official sources said.

“The new joint venture will manufacture world famous Kalashnikov ass-ault rifles of the newest 200 series and eventually will reach full localisation of production. Thus, the Indian defen-ce-industrial sector will have the opportunity to fulfil the needs of national security agencies in this category of small arms, resting upon advanced Russian technologies,” Mr Putin said in his message.

He said military and technical cooperation has traditionally been one of the key areas of the special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India.

“For more than seven decades, we have been supplying reliable and high-quality armaments and equipment to Indian friends. Around 170 military and industrial facilities have been set up in India with assistance from our country,” Mr Putin said.

It was during his official visit to India last October that Mr Putin and Mr Modi reached an agreement on producing Kalas-hnikov rifles in India.     

The inter-governmental agreement was prepared and signed in the shortest possible time. “In this regard, I would like to express gratitude to Russian and Indian specialists, to all those who so promptly made this project happen,” the Russian president said.

Mr Putin said he is convinced that commissioning of the new enterprise will contribute to stronger defence potential of India and to further advance the scientific and industrial basis of the national economy.

It will be instrumental in terms of creating new jobs for a qualified work force and will provide an impetus to professional education and personnel training, he said. “The plant itself will become another symbol of friendship and constructive cooperation between our two countries,” he said.

Tags: vladmir putin, nirmala sitharaman
Location: India, Uttar Pradesh, Amethi