On April 12, 2018, Russian RIA Novosti news agency has published an article telling about the upcoming negotiations of Russian and Indian officials concerning the licensed manufacturing of 100-series AK rifles in India. This information was released during the DefExpo 2018 arms exhibition by Vladimir Drozhzhov, the deputy director of Russian Federal Service of Military-Technical Cooperation.
Shortly after this news, on April 25, Kalashnikov Concern published a press release telling about the arrival of the Indian delegation to their premises. The delegation was headed by Apurva Chandra, the Director General (Acquisition) and Additional Secretary of Department of Defence of India.
The company arranged a factory tour for the members of the Indian delegation showing the manufacturing processes of their products. The Indian officials also had a chance to shoot these firearms. According to Alexander Mikheev, Director General of Rosoboronexport, they are able to build an identical plant in India.
The history of Indian small arms adoption program has seen several dramatic changes during the last couple of years. India has been changing its mind several times concerning the type and caliber of the new weapon system. Normally, it is preferable to adopt a single weapon platform and ammunition as the main firearm for any country’s armed forces. Such approach allows to save a lot of resources and simplify the manufacturing and logistics. However, judging by the recent developments, India is looking to manufacture a wide array of different weapons chambered in various calibers. Within the current month, we have seen them doing steps towards licensed manufacturing of F90CQB (Thales) and CAR 817AR (Caracal) rifles and now they want to make AKs, too. It is unknown whether any of these weapons will become the mainstream one with the others being made for more specialized troops. At any rate, the choice of such diversity in small arms and ammunition types is a rather uncommon strategy.
“РОССИЯ СКОРО ОБСУДИТ СОЗДАНИЕ ПРОИЗВОДСТВА АК “СОТОЙ СЕРИИ” В ИНДИИ”. (2018, April 12). RIA Novosti. Retrieved from: https://ria.ru/arms/20180412/1518470499.html
“Делегация Минобороны Индии посетила Концерн «Калашников»”. (2018, April 25). Kalashnikov Concern. Retrieved from: https://kalashnikov.com/press/news/news_445.html
Images from: www.kalashnikov.com, www.ak.kalashnikovgroup.ru