The AK-203 assault rifle, which will be license-manufactured by a joint venture at the Ordnance Factory Board plant in Amethi

India and Russia will jointly produce the AK-203 rifle at the Ordnance Factory Board plant in Korwa, Amethi.

The AK-203 assault rifle is the most modern variant of the iconic AK-47 rifle invented by gun designer General Mikhail Kalashnikov during the Second World War.

Indian security forces are among the largest users of AK-type rifles. Most of these however have not been bought from Russia but from other former Warsaw Pact countries like Romania and Bulgaria.

The Indo-Russian Rifles Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between the Kalashnikov Concern which manufactures the iconic rifle and India's defence ministry was announced by then defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Amethi in March this year.

The joint venture will license-produce over 600,000 AK-203s at the factory. These will equip bulk of the Indian Army. The AK-203 will replace the INSAS and older AK-series rifles currently used by the Indian Army.

This year, the joint venture firm will submit a proposal to manufacture the weapons at the Amethi factory.