India and Russia sign AK-203 deal during Putin’s visit next week

To strengthen military ties between India and Russia, the two countries are due to sign a contract for the supply of 7.5 lakh AK-203 assault rifles on Monday during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Delhi, ANI news agency reported citing government sources.

Russian President Vladmir Putin will pay an official visit to New Delhi on December 6th for the 21st India-Russia Annual Summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The heads of state and government will exchange views on current issues on the international agenda, including joint work within the G20, the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

All required clearances have been received, including final approval from the Cabinet Security Committee. It is set to be colored during the Russian president’s visit, sources told ANI.

The Putin-Modi meeting is also likely to see the presentation of the S-400 air defense system to India, which is already arriving in parts in India, sources said.

The two sides are also working on the Igla shoulder air defense system, which has been in development for many years.

The Russia-designed AK-203 is manufactured in a factory in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh.

The deal was agreed a few years ago between the two sides, now the last big issue is solving the problems with technology transfer, it said.

Of the 7.5 lakh rifles to be acquired by the Indian Army, the first 70,000 will include Russian-made components as technology transfer proceeds slowly.

These are delivered to the Bundeswehr 32 months after the start of production.

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