Mega Made-In-India Kalashnikov Assault Rifle Deal Before Year End

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A cure appears to finally be in sight for the Indian government’s disturbing, decades long inability to procure even basic firearms for the Indian Army in any consistent substantial strength. With paperwork ready and detailed documents cleared, India and Russia will shortly conclude an agreement that paves the way for 650,000 Kalashnikov AK-103 assault rifles to be built in India for the Army’s infantry units. The rifles will progressively replace the Army’s in-service INSAS and AK-47 rifles.

Livefist learns an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) for a 49.5-50.5 joint venture between JSC Kalashnikov Concern and India’s Ordnance Factory Board will be signed before the end of this year. Under the terms of the JV, Kalashnikov and India’s OFB will raise a new facility to manufacture the AK-103 in India, first for the Indian Army on priority, then for other possible Indian customers (including the central police forces) and then for export. The JV also leaves scope for joint development and manufacture of new firearms in country.

“Technical and financial details of the deal are being finalized, and it by the end of 2018 it will be ready to be signed,” sources said. The IGA will be followed by specific contracts that pave the way the actual corporate structure, workshare and manufacture.

While the IGA was widely expected to be signed last month during the India-Russia summit in Delhi when President Putin visited Delhi, the signing of the $5.43 billion deal for S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems justifiably overshadowed pretty much all else. As Alexander Mikheev, head of Russia;s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport had said, it was the biggest in the history of military and technical cooperation between the two countries.

The S-400 deal has seen a very swift journey to conclusion, once again establishing India’s signature ability to land most deals of high value/performance equipment quickly, but remain vulnerable to derailment when it comes to basic equipment — in this case the primary firearm for a soldier deployed in counter-insurgency operations and other infantry duties.

Top sources confirmed to Livefist, “The intergovernmental agreement (IGA) on forming JV for producing the latest Russian 7.62 mm AK-103 assault rifles in line with Make in India policy is likely to be signed by the end of 2018. The JV, once active, will become a next in the line of major joint Russian-Indian military and technical cooperation projects after the benchmark BrahMos and Su-30MKI projects.”

Kalashnikov has been looking for a local production partner since at least 2014, though attempts to forge partnerships with the Indian private sector haven’t borne fruit. Earlier this year, a proposal to tie up with India’s Adani Group were rejected by the Indian government in favour of the state-owned OFB as a partner. This may have had much to do with a major political war brewing over India’s Rafale deal, and allegations that favours to private firms were doled out in the offsets pieces. And under attack by the Opposition for allegedly ‘ignoring’ state-owned HAL for Rafale offsets contracts, the government may have been looking to walk down a path of least resistance — not that the OFB is an unusual partner for such a project. A state-owned gun factory is a relic of India’s socialist foundations — and very much in keeping with how Russia’s own military-industrial complex is structured, though ironically, Russian are increasingly keener to establish ties with India’s private sector going forward.

The two major state-level partnerships between the two countries are the HAL-Sukhoi Su-30MKI production line in Nashik and the DRDO-Mashinostroyenia BrahMos missile project spread across facilities in India and Russia.

For the AK-103s, the Indian government is looking to achieve 100% local content — all raw materials and processing know-how — in the shortest possible time. Contracts will likely stipulate a graded time-scale for localisation, with the Army progressively receiving more ‘Indian’ guns, until later batches are fully and truly locally built. Kalashnikov’s dominant know-how in raw material processing will be large part of the technology infusion for the factory that makes the AK-103 in India. The facility will also house equipment to repair, service and overhaul the weapons.

“The first AK-103s can come out of the factory soon after the agreement and the commercial contracts are signed. So, within less than a year, the Indian MoD can meet its immediate urgent requirement for these weapons,” a Russian official told Livefist.

The 650,000 AK-103s are part of a two-pronged procurement drive by Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat to speed up and optimise the crucial requirement for his frontline soldiers. While the AK-103s will go to regular infantry units, 72,000 of a higher performance rifle type will be deployed with frontline troops in counter-terror roles. In September, Army trials threw up the Sig Sauer SIG 716 as lowest bidder in a contest and UAE-based Caracal’s CAR 816 to meet a requirement of 94,000 close quarter battle carbines.

In 2017, despite pressures to replace the INSAS, the Indian Army rejected two in-country development proposals on quality/performance concerns — the state Defence R&D Organisation’s (DRDO) proposed Excalibur 5.56mm rifle and the OFB’s own new 7.62mm rifle. It is in the wake of the latter failure to take off that the new Kalashnikov-OFB facility enters the picture.

The Indian Army’s counter-insurgency forces use a mix of weapons, including the AK-103’s mother weapon, the AK-47 and more recently, the Israeli Tavor TAR-21. The Army’s Special Forces have settled comfortably into batches of American-built M4A1 carbines for anti-terror operations.

The AK-100 series have the following design features: an attachment for mounting under-barrel grenade launchers, a folding plastic butt and a standard mounting rail for installation of optical and night sights; a more sturdy breech locking assembly allowing the use of new higher-performance cartridges; lower total weight of simultaneously moving parts and a muzzle brake-compensator, which provide reduced recoil momentum, increased weapon stability upon firing and lower fire dispersion in automatic fire mode.

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https://www.livefistdefence.com/201...nikov-assault-rifle-deal-before-year-end.html
 
Oh, that has been taken care of. If the present government remains in power, you will find OFB performing very well. :)

It is, after all, a matter of survival

Let's hope so. Is there any private player going to be involved in the infantry small arms or is it going to be just OFB?
 
We had been doing that till we gave up. It was simply not effective outside a firing range. But at 3.6, we have removed 600 gms off our weapon. Slight but it counts on prolonged deployment

At least the lower end of the requirement has been taken care of.
 
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@Hellfire

I am a bit confused, there was all this hoopla for the 7.62x51N as its a longer distance cartridge for engagement and decent terminal ballistics to replace 5.56nato. But now we go backwards and pick 7.62x39 which has even poorer range than the 5.56 nato. Is there any strategy to this or just which ever vendor gives the best deal to MoD.

Will the GI be even be able to land a single shot of 7.62x39 at 400 meters on a opposing post?
 
I personally think it's a horrible decision to pick the AK platform for Indian Army. We will ensure that the IA remains a poor marksman level force for generations with such a move.
there are much better options out there, even a AR15 platform which essentially is now is cheaper than a AK, could have easily supplanted the IA's needs, and a system like a HK416 or CZ bren would have done much greater good for IA.

Indian infantry needs mult calibers for it's need, there are much better calibers out there, IA/MoD/Agents need to wake the f up.
 
The opposite. All these other rifles mentioned already have GTG programs on fast track procurement basis for nominal numbers.

This article lists the actual requirement versus FTP.
Indian team goes abroad to scout for assault rifles, carbines for armed forces - Times of India

The tenders should be processed while the FTP GTG is done.
Then @randomradio needs to argue with @randomradio lol

There is no reason to replace INSAS so quickly. If the imports are late, the primary units can use the OFB's new rifle until the imports come in. Much ado over nothing. But the army definitely needs new carbines, but they screwed up by rejecting a perfectly good gun that the BSF is using.
 
Actually no. The 7.62 mm x 39 mm compormise came about due to 'lack of funds' being cited for not being able to equip the whole army with standardized 7.62 x 51 mm. Carbines will be replacing the 9 mm SMCs where held.
Offcourse there will be lack of funds, we need to erect gigantic statues.
 
Fast Track Rifle:
716g2-patrol-2017_2_1.jpg


Fast Track Carbine:
car816.png


Infantry Rifle (hoping with all my soul that it's the new AK-103M and not the vanilla 103, but mentally preparing for the worst just in case):
ak103_l.jpg
 
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why we are not going for the m16 or m4 carbine instead of the russian weapon
they are better known for the ergonomics apart from the accuracy and 5.56 nato round are similar to russian 7.62 *39 i guess
just a curious question as i am still a novice
 
why we are not going for the m16 or m4 carbine instead of the russian weapon
they are better known for the ergonomics apart from the accuracy and 5.56 nato round are similar to russian 7.62 *39 i guess
just a curious question as i am still a novice
hi,
M16/m4 both of the AR15 platform rifles are indeed slightly more ergonomic than the AK, you are correct there and are indeed slightly more accurate than the AR in Semi auto, and significantly more in full auto/burst modes.

in the next part, 5.56 nato and 7.62x39 are significantly different in thier performance, not that one is better than other but, due to inherent nature of the rounds, 7.62x39 is a bigger round which has excellent terminal ballistics, i.e can transfer more energy to intended target compared to 5.56 nato, but the same advantage of a bigger bullet reduces its effective range, drops faster and becomes challenging to engage targets at distances of 350 yards+. 5.56 Nato being a smaller diameter round is an extremely fast and flat shooting, has more range and has lesser bullet drop thus can engage targets upto longer ranges, hitting 300 - 400 yards with iron sights or a red dot is pretty standard, with magnification upto 500 is doable. Being small and fast can work against it's terminal ballistics where it will transfer less energy and with FMJ's in some cases not tumble in the flesh and rather rip through soft tissue without taking the combatant out of the engagement. Both rounds have their distinct advantages and dis-advantages.
 
I personally think it's a horrible decision to pick the AK platform for Indian Army. We will ensure that the IA remains a poor marksman level force for generations with such a move.
there are much better options out there, even a AR15 platform which essentially is now is cheaper than a AK, could have easily supplanted the IA's needs, and a system like a HK416 or CZ bren would have done much greater good for IA.

Indian infantry needs mult calibers for it's need, there are much better calibers out there, IA/MoD/Agents need to wake the f up.

Well the thing is
1.The european and american options are much more costlier.Army is cash strapped atm.We have to equip a million men.
2.Reliability of AK is legendary.Given the acute environments we have to operate in from jungles,to desert to mountains we need a reliable gun.
3.Our infantry is already fully acquainted with kalashnikovs and so transition is smooth.
4.Ak-103 is actually a very effective rifle,only slightly inferior to its AR counterparts.

For marksmen we need to replace the dragunovs.And every battalion posted at Loc should be equipped with specialized sniper platoons armed with barretts/steyr.
 
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