By Rohit Srivastava
One year after the signing of the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between India and Russia, to co-manufacture AK-203 in India, the joint venture is yet to submit a response to the tender. The Request for Proposal (RFP) is expiring in February, sources informed.
“The two sides are working to finalise the final price before submitting the response, after which the joint venture will negotiate the price with MoD,” sources informed.
According to industry sources, the current base price is hovering around INR 65,000/ per rifle which does not include royalty and 15 per cent profit for the joint venture.
Before signing the agreement, two sides had agreed to keep the price below USD 1100 per rifle.
The last date of submission was December 18 but was extended for two months.
The rifles will be manufactured at the Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) at Korwa in Uttar Pradesh where representing India Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) owns 50.5 per cent shares. The rest are owned by Kalashnikov Concern and Rosoboronexport.
The IRPPL will manufacture around 7.5 lakh rifles which will go on to replace the INSAS rifle, the current standard issue to Indian soldiers. These guns are also expected to equip other Indian forces. India also intends to export AK-203 to friendly nations.
The two sides have aimed at 100 per cent localization after the 1,00,000 rifles. Through the JV, two sides are looking at deeper cooperation, beyond just Transfer of Technology, including material based co-manufacturing, product-development and upgrade. First 20,000 rifles will be assembled from imported kits.
Coming from the home of the legendary AK-47, AK-203 is an improved version of the AK series, which fires 7.62x39 mm bullets and allows all modern add-ons, including a variety of sight systems, target designators and under-barrel grenades.
*Queries sent to OFB remained unanswered.