At the recent DefExpo 2020 defense exhibition that took place in Lucknow, India, major-general Sengar, CEO of the Russian-Indian joint venture Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL), announced that all Indian Armed Forces’ services and branches would get the AK-203: “We are planning to sign an initial contract [for the delivery of the AK-203] before the end of the year (…)
The rifle will be issued to the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force, the Indian Navy, and law enforcement agencies. The ageing Kalashnikov-family assault rifles will not be replaced with new firearms,” said Sengar. According to him, the IRRPL will produce the AK-203 at an annual rate of 75,000 assault rifles. “The production of the AK-203 will last for ten years,” the general noted.
The first AK-203 will be delivered in the baseline configuration, with IRRPL not planning to conduct any update of the basic configuration: “The production of the AK-203-based carbine – the AK-204 – is not planned”, the general added.
The AK-203 as intended for the Indian Armed Forces features some differences compared to the basic Russian assault rifle: the Indian AK-203 has received a folding buttstock (like that integrated with the AK-74M or AK-103 firearms), upper handguard without a Picatinny rail, and a standard plastic 30-round magazine with no clear window.
At the same time, the assault rifle has retained its distinctive slotted muzzle brake. A cleaning rod has been mounted under the weapon’s barrel, in the AK-74M/AK-103 fashion.